A twelve year old DeKalb county girl spent several days in the hospital last week after being attacked by a pit bull and undergoing surgery.
The girl was saved from more potential harm by her mother, who came to her aid by first hitting the dog with a brick, and finally killing the animal by stabbing it with a knife.
The girl, A’lexus Zachary, was visiting a friend when she was attacked. The dog belonged to A’lexus’s friend’s cousin. According to the police, the girl was standing at the door to her friend’s house when she was attacked. As soon as the door opened, the pit bull lunged at her.
A’lexus’s mother, Tameka Zachary, attempted to help her daughter, but was at first unable to fend off the dog. The first weapon she was able to find was a brick on the ground, which she attempted to use to beat the dog off. When that failed, A’lexus’s friend pointed out a knife, with which Zachary stabbed the dog repeatedly.
The dog released the girl, and she ran for safety in the house. Moments later, the dog died of its injuries.
A’lexus Zachary was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and there underwent surgery to repair damage from her attack.
Police have said that the dog’s owner may face criminal charges.
Dogs enrich the lives of millions of Americans. They provide companionship, security, and love. They work with us and live with us. It is a relationship which many enjoy and romanticize. However, irresponsible owners and breeders also contribute to a trend of preventable injuries in the form of dog attacks. Most dog attacks are entirely preventable, through proper training and socialization, and by closely supervising children around dogs.
In the United States, an estimated 4.5 billion people are bitten each year. Of these bites, about one in five will require medical attention. More than 31,000 people underwent some kind of reconstructive surgery in 2006 as a result of serious injuries resulting from dog bites.
Children are most at risk when it comes to being bitten by dogs. The highest rates of bites were among children between the ages of five and nine years old. These children were also the most likely to need medical attention for their injuries.
As a more encouraging trend, research suggests that the incidence of children bitten by dogs has been decreasing.
A dog’s owner takes responsibility when they bring that animal into their home, and as such should consult veterinarians and trainers both before obtaining their pet, and if the dog begins exhibiting any unwanted behaviors – particularly aggression. Any dog entering your household should be properly trained and socialized to encourage healthy submissive behavior.
It is also important for parents to teach children how to behave around dogs, both at home and in public areas where they may meet strange dogs. Children should know not to approach dogs they do not know and not to pet a dog without first allowing it to sniff them. Children should be taught not to disturb a sleeping or eating dog, and understand what kind of play is appropriate.
Most importantly, children should know that in the event that they are bitten by a dog, to immediately tell an adult. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog attack, contact an experienced Georgia accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. For legal advice, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.