Although not particularly common, a recent report estimates that in 2014, there were approximately 42 fatal dog bites in the U.S. Additionally, it is reported that approximately 37-47% of all households in the U.S. are dog owners, and that there are approximately 70-80 million dogs owned by households in the U.S. With the significant number of dogs and dog owners in the U.S., the risk of injury from dog bites remains consistent, especially where many dog owners for purpose of protection, or love of breed are turning to seemingly larger and aggressive breeds such as Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and Bullmastiffs.
One of the most common scenarios involving dog bites and dog attacks involves pedestrians, or delivery service-related activities, where a particular household is not paying attention to their dogs or, in many cases, where the dogs are allowed to roam and walk freely outside of their enclosure or without leashes. Particularly vulnerable to dog attacks are young children, where at times, it is presumed that a particular dog is child-friendly, and the child or children are left unattended to play with the dog.
A particular well-known and moving story is that of Nyheim Wilfong of North Carolina, who, while visiting his grandparents, was left unattended with the family’s new Rottweiler; sadly, in an instant, the dog attacked and viciously killed the young child. Although such horrific stories are more the exception than the rule, the fact remains that particular breeds of dogs, especially if left unattended, free to roam, unleashed, or not monitored, can and will potentially cause harm to other innocent individuals, including children.
South Carolina Dog Bite Laws
The law in South Carolina regarding dogs is clear: dog owners have a duty to maintain, take care of, and monitor their dogs, and are prohibited from allowing their dogs to run free or without proper restraint, fences and otherwise. Additionally, the state of South Carolina recognizes penalties and criminal charges against dog owners that violate certain rules and regulations regarding the maintenance of dogs, specifically recognizing that such provisions can and should relate to dogs that are considered “vicious or unruly.” Additionally, under South Carolina’s Rabies Control Act, dog owners have an additional responsibility of ensuring their dogs receive annual rabies vaccination shots. Additionally, dog owners are responsible under South Carolina law for actively reporting when and if their particular pets are suspected or have rabies.
Have You Been Bitten by a Dog?
If you have been bitten by a dog in South Carolina, it is imperative that you retain legal counsel immediately. The attorneys at the Connell Law Firm have experience representing the rights of those injured in South Carolina and will work aggressively for you today.