Port St. Lucie Dog Bite Law: Large Dog Killed After Attacking Jogger

12/15/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Port St. Lucie, FL—A jogger was hospitalized after a large dog attacked him on Southwest Masilunas Street in Port St. Lucie Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. The victim, who was with his 7-year-old son at the time, apparently killed the black Lab-chow mix when he held it by the neck as a means of restraining it, as reported by CBS Channel 12 News.

John A. Harris, a 32-year-old Port St. Lucie man, was jogging behind his son, Jackson, who was riding his bike, when they neared a residence in the 3600 block of SW Masilunas Street. The pair noticed a big dog gazing at them, prompting Harris to tell his son to get behind him.

The dog then dashed towards them as they tried to continue past the home. The Lab-chow mix leapt on Harris, leaving him with severe injuries.

While young Jackson Harris ran to a neighbor’s house to get help, the owner didn’t answer the door. His father then urged him to run home and come back to the scene with his mother.

At some point during the attack, Harris managed to grab the dog by its neck to stop it from attacking him. By the time emergency personnel responded to the scene, the dog had already died. Investigators were not sure if Harris suffocated the dog to death or broke its neck.

According to the dog’s owner, 59-year-old Peggy Hamilton, claimed the dog had never lashed out before. Hamilton contended the Lab-chow mix was administered its current vaccinations, though she was reportedly unaware of whether those shots included one for rabies. Test results are pending.

According to DogsBite.org, 59 percent of 88 fatal dog attacks recorded by the organization between January 2006 and December 2008 involved pit bulls.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also estimated dog bites and attacks were responsible for about 368,245 emergency room visits during the year 2001.

Harris was rushed to the Martin Memorial Medicenter ER to be treated for multiple dog bites and scrapes on his face and arms.

It was not clear if the owner would face any charges in connection with the Port St. Lucie dog attack.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for Florida Dog Bite Lawyers.

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Url: Sandra Quinlan: West Palm Beach Injury News