Attacks from at least one of the family’s three dogs killed a three-year-old Johnston City boy, The Southern reported June 29. Gabiral Mandrell was found about 200 feet from his home around 8 p.m. and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead from blood loss at 8:50 p.m. All three of the mixed-breed dogs were taken to the Williamson County Animal Control Center, where they will be held during an investigation.
According to the newspaper, Mandrell’s family thought he was sleeping on Saturday evening, when he apparently opened the screen on his bedroom window and escaped into the yard. Three dogs were loose in the yard — two pit bull mixes and a collie mix. Authorities aren’t sure how many of the dogs were involved in the attack. Mandrell was bitten numerous times, but the bite that killed him was to a major blood vessel. The Williamson County Coroner declined to be more specific. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the death.
Not every family realizes it, but dogs can be dangerous around young children. One study of fatal dog attacks by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 80% of dog bite fatalities were to children under 12 — and three were babies less than a month old. As a Missouri dog attack lawyer, I have encountered multiple explanations for this. Young children who don’t have experience with dogs may not understand the difference between playing and provoking a dog. Their small size and short stature also places their heads and necks closer to the ground, where dogs can do a lot of harm. And because of children’s size and quick movements, dogs may instinctively see them as prey, or sometimes as pack members to be dominated.
Unfortunately, the consequences of this can be devastating. Because the head and neck are the most likely targets in dog attacks, children attacked by dogs can sustain very serious injuries, including severe blood loss, nerve damage, organ damage and serious infections. They also frequently come away with disfiguring facial scars, sometimes requiring years of reconstructive surgery. In addition to the physical consequences, this can be very difficult emotionally and socially for a child.
Dogs that attack in Missouri and Illinois frequently face impoundment and euthanasia as public threats. But for families traumatized by a dog attack and facing mounting medical bills, that may not be enough. When dogs that should have been leashed or controlled attack human beings, victims have the right to hold their owners legally liable with a St. Louis dog bite lawsuit. Generally speaking, these claims are covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance, or sometimes by a landlord’s insurance — so victims are really suing an insurance company.
Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients throughout Missouri and southern Illinois who suffered a serious attack by a dangerous dog. Our southern Illinois dog attack attorneys help victims recover money to pay accident-related medical bills (including future surgeries, therapy or other treatments), replace lost income from time off work and compensate them for their pain, suffering and injuries. And because we offer free consultations, you risk nothing by speaking to us to learn more about your rights and your case. To set up a free initial consultation, please contact Carey, Danis & Lowe online or call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 today.