In Lincolton, North Carolina, a two-year-old child, reported missing from a relative’s residence, was found wrapped in a dog chain with two dogs standing over him. The toddler, unidentified by law enforcement officials, was mauled by a German Shepherd and another dog. (Click here to read the article.)
North Carolina is a “one-bite state.” It follows the British “one-bite rule,” which says that the owner of a domestic animal is not liable for injury or death caused by that animal unless and until the owner becomes aware of the animal’s viciousness toward people.
This is the 24th canine homicide in the USA in 2007. Of these, 12 have been in the 18 “one-bite states.” Additionally, 5 more have been in the states whose dog bite statutes substantially confirm or re-enact the British rule. The states that make owners responsible for all bites have seen only 7 deaths this year.
It appears clear that the British rule, which absolves dog owners who fail to be vigilant regarding their vicious dogs, needs to be replaced with modern laws imposing strict liability on dog owners for all bites.