According to an ABC 4 News article, “Dogs attack Utah County men,” two Orem men were injured in a pit bull attack. Anthony Denovellis was walking near 600 East and 1500 South in Orem when three dogs, including a pit bull, began circling him. The dogs then left but returned minutes later and began circling him again. The pit bull then attacked Denovellis, leaving a puncture would to his leg. Jim McFarland, who was at his nearby auto body shop, saw what was happening and started to yell at the dogs. The dogs then ran towards him and McFarland was bit by the pit bull as well. McFarland was finally able to lure the dogs into a gated area of his property where the dogs were kept until authorities arrived to take them away.

There seems to be an increase in dog bites and animal attacks in Utah the last few months. This may be why several Utah cities, including Provo and Sandy are considering laws to register vicious dog breeds and limit their interaction with the public. These laws are a good step forward in protecting others (especially children) from vicious dogs, but since no one knows when a dog will attack, even if the dog hasn’t bitten in the past, a more important law would be to ensure all dog owners carry homeowners or renters insurance to cover the medical bills and other expenses associated with these attacks.

Under Utah law a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries inflicted by his dog upon a person, even if the owner was not negligent and the dog had never bitten anyone before, as long as the person who was bitten had the legal right to be where he was attacked. If the victims of these attacks are left with injuries and medical bills they would be best served consulting with an experienced Utah dog bite lawyer to ensure their expenses are covered and that these vicious dogs do not attack again.

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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