USA Death #16: Child Killed In Tennessee But His Parents Will Not Be Helped By New Law

On July 23, 2007, 11-month-old Trey Paeth of Florence, Ala., was killed in Putnam County, Tenn., by two Siberian huskies. The boy was in a screened playpen, and the dogs bit and clawed their way through it to maul him to death. His parents were in another room and did not hear anything. The dogs later were destroyed.

This is the USA’s 16th canine homicide in 2007.

Tennessee recently passed a dog bite statute imposing strict liability on dog owners whose dogs attack people — exceptwhere the attack happens on the property of the dog owner. This very significant loophole was not in Sen. Doug Jackson’s original bill, which I assisted in drafting. The loophole was added by the house. It made the Tennessee dog bite statute the only one in the USA that actually affirms the ancient and inhumane one-bite rule of England.

Hopefully this tragic fatality will enlighten the Tennessee legislature and cause them to pass clean-up legislation next year, cutting this loophole out of the dog bite statute.