You would think that after the first girl’s mauling, the dog owner would have prevented her savage animal from returning to the beach. No. She let it out again, and another life was changed as a consequence.
The law of Hawaii certainly contributed to this situation. This is a state that tells dog owners they will be protected 100% when their dog bites someone the first time. In other words, Hawaii adheres to the ancient English “one-bite rule,” which has been rejected by a majority of American states. (See “The One-Bite Rule” and compare it to the laws in the rest of the USA, at “Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA.”)
The dog owner was given just 5 days in jail, ordered to pay $4000 in fines, and will be on probation for six years. Her dog was put down. This was a light sentence, given the suffering of those innocent children.
If the citizens of this state are serious about protecting their kids from vicious animals and their vicious owners, Hawaii needs to pass a dog bite statute that makes every dog owner responsible all the time — from the first mauling onward.
Mariko Bereday, whose Rottweiler mauled two young children on separate occasions, was sentenced yesterday to five days in jail and the maximum fine allowed under the city’s dangerous dogs ordinance.
Her dog, which must be confined to the house, was also ordered to be killed.
On May 12, 2005, Bereday let her Rottweiler run loose on Kahala Beach, where it severely mauled a 2-year-old boy.
Six days later, her dog mauled a 4-year-old girl.
According to city prosecutor spokesman Jim Fulton, District Judge James Dannenberg called it one of the most horrific cases he’s ever seen and said he was appalled by Bereday’s state of denial.
Dannenberg sentenced Bereday to a $2,000 fine on each count, six years probation and five days in jail for the second count.
Her sentence was stayed pending appeal.