A 9-year-old child was severely injured in a pit bull mix attack in Portsmouth. PPD officers responded to the scene on 6th just after 6 pm on Wednesday evening.
When Officer Kyle Galloway arrived on the scene with EMS personnel, he saw a woman carrying a little girl covered in blood. Galloway said the child suffered severe lacerations and swelling on her face. He assisted in placing the child in the back of the ambulance and then contacted the animal control officer from the health department.
He then spoke to witnesses to find out what happened. The owner of a 2-year-old pit bull Saint Bernard mix said her dog jumped a fence and attacked the child. According to the information on the police report, the owner of the animal lived next door to the child’s mother.
The officer asked the owner to place the animal in the back of his patrol vehicle and she complied.
After observing the condition of the child, medics on the scene called for a Medflight air ambulance. They transported the child straight to the helipad. The mother road along in the ambulance with the injured child Medflight flew her to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The air ambulance was in flight by 6:52 pm.
The animal control officer cited the owner and took the dog into custody.
Strict Liability For Dog Bites In Ohio
Ohio has strict liability laws for dog bites. The owner of an animal is liable for any injuries it causes even if it did not previously show aggressive behavior. Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28(B) states that an “owner, keeper, or harborer” of a dog is liable for any injury caused by the animal if:
- the dog’s behavior caused the injury
- the injured person was not “committing or attempting to commit criminal trespass or another criminal offense other than a minor misdemeanor,” and
- the injured person was not “teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog.”