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Frankfurt resident Timothy Veith has filed a petition in Will County, Illinois civil court to have a neighbor’s dog deemed vicious and dangerous. The man claims both he and his son were bitten by the neighbor’s pet in two different attacks that occurred approximately a year apart. Details from the petition indicate that a dog owned by Derek and Joellen Lee was allowed to run loose on three separate occasions, which led to the Lee’s dog biting him during one attack a year after biting his six-year-old son in another incident.

The first attack occurred on November 2, 2013 after Timothy’s son arrived at Lee’s home on Liatris Drive hoping to play with their daughter outdoors. The petition alleges it was then that Boomer, the Lee family dog “crashed through the storm door knocking [Veith’s son] to the ground.” The petition alleges that Boomer “bit on and around [the boy’s] head through a hooded jacket he was wearing, causing a laceration on the head.”

Just over one year later, a second accident occurred on December 14, 2014 when the older Veith arrived at the Lee household to return a cooking dish. The Lee family dog lunged at Timothy, biting his hand causing “sustained significant lacerations on the forehand and palm.”

The petition indicates the Timothy wants the court to deem the Lee family pet vicious and dangerous. In addition, he wants the dog euthanized and the family to pay a $100 fine. If the court rules against his petition, Veith wants Boomer microchipped, neutered and muzzled anytime the dog is not enclosed to ensure everyone’s protection.

When Dogs Attack Neighbors

Many communities have enacted and enforced dog bite laws to protect neighborhoods against dangerous pets known to be high risk of attacking and biting others without provocation. The Illinois legislature has enacted state statutes (Chapter 10, sections 10-81 – 10-89) in determining, finding and controlling dangerous dogs. Any violation of the law can result in severe penalties (section 10-87) if the owner fails to control the dog that then attacks without provocation causing serious physical injury to others.

The Humane Society indicates that there are various reasons dogs are aggressive and will snarl, growl, snap, bark, lunge at or bite others. Typically, aggression is a response to fear. However, there are other factors known to contribute to the pet’s aggression. Some of these include:

  • Genetic Predisposition – Genetically, many dogs are predisposed to be aggressive as a result of selective breeding in breeds that are known to protect her fight to survive.
  • Medical Issues – Though uncommon, some pets become aggressive because of a medical issue that could involve trauma, tumors or hydrocephalus that typically appears with convulsions or in response to rapid mood changes that appear as a seizure.
  • Protective Aggression – Dogs will often use protective aggression to defend young pups from any perceived threat.
  • Territorial Aggression – Even the tamest household pet can become aggressive when attempting to defend their space or guard their home. This often involves lunging or barking at a perceived threat from behind a window or fence.
  • Fear-Associated Aggression – Like humans, a dog fearing for their life and safety will act aggressively for survival. For the dog this often means attacking or biting another animal or human. The threat does not have to be real for the aggression to be displayed, which is why many victims are bitten or attacked without any provocation.
  • Guarding – Most dog breeds have a natural propensity to protect resources, items and things in their control that could include a bed, toys or food. Resource guarding typically displays itself as a dog growl, snap or bite that happens unexpectedly.
  • Predatory Instinct – Dogs have an animal’s natural instinct to hunt for food which is why aggressive breeds will chase small dogs, cats and young children.

Legal Rights for People Injured By Aggressive Dogs

All residents in the community, including Timothy Veith, have a legal right to remain safe in their neighborhood from anyone or anything that could cause them harm. This typically means victims have the legal right to pursue action against the animal that attacked them without provocation and to seek legal compensation to cover their damages. These options are two separate legal actions that can minimize the potential of the dog attacking again and to pay for injury-associated expenses endured by the victim.

If you, or your loved one, have been attacked by a dog you likely have the right to seek monetary compensation. The dog bite attack injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) accept these types of cases on contingency, meaning no upfront fees are required.