Millville Dog Owners To Face Charges After Dog Attack

In an excellent example of the strict liability laws that govern New Jersey Dog Bite attacks, a South Jersey News Online story published January 25th details the specifics of a case in which a dog attack ended with one of the canines being cannibalized by a neighboring dog.

According to investigators, Austin Hickman, the caretaker of an Akita puppy, left for a trip to Florida on Saturday. His mother claims he left the Akita puppy outside with food and water at the time of his departure. Authorities believe the puppy died some time after Mr. Hickman’s departure and was then, in turn, cannibalized by the neighboring Chow-mix. A neighbor claimed to see one of the Chows eating away at the Akita puppy shortly after noon on Wednesday. A representative from the SPCA stated that they believe the puppy was already dead when it was eaten by the Chow mix.

According to Bev Greco, director of the Cumberland County SPCA, charges were filed against the owners of the five Chow-mix dogs for failure to provide proper sustenance, veterinary care, confinement, and shelter for the dogs. Three of the five dogs were found to be in poor physical condition, including the one dog that was confiscated by police following the incident. Additionally, the caretaker of the puppy, and the caretaker’s mother, would also be charged with abandonment, and failure to provide safe containment and proper sanitary conditions.

In this case, charges are being filed against all the parties involved in the New Jersey dog attack incident, regardless of their roll in the death and subsequent maiming of the dog. The caretaker of the Akita who was in Florida, his mother, and the owners of the neighboring dog that escaped from his yard and ended up cannibalizing the puppy. The owners of the Chow’s could be facing fines up to $4,000, while the Hickman’s could be facing up to $3,000 worth of fines. In addition, all parties involved could be forced to complete community service hours.

Under New Jersey dog bite law the owner of the attacking dog is held by strict liability. This generally means that the owner is responsible for the dog’s actions, particularly if there are injuries. Because strict liability also has several clauses inherent within it, an experienced New Jersey dog bite attorney can help. While the owner may be responsible for some of the damages, they may present their own legal claim in avoiding having to pay for the dog bite incident.

Lependorf & Silverstein have years of experience handling New Jersey dog bite cases from our office in Princeton. We are able to give free consultations and can take most every case on a contingent fee basis. This means we only earn a legal fee if we win a recovery for you. We always factor these fees into any amount we agree to settle on.

If you or someone you love has been bitten or injured by a dog in New Jersey contact us for a free consultation and no-obligation legal advice.