A man in Hollywood has been given multiple citations by authorities after his two American Bulldogs attacked two women and killed another dog. His dogs were seized by authorities, but he plans to fight to regain custody of his animals.
The incident occurred when the two dogs, owned by Ricky Swearengin, went after a woman and her small dog early this May near the Sunny Palm RV Park. Swearengin’s dogs reportedly escaped from his RV and began biting the woman and her terrier. A 59-year-old woman in the area heard the attack occurring and tried to help, but the dogs attacked her as well.
Two men soon joined in, hitting the dogs in an attempt to get them to stop biting the women. Both women were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital by Hollywood Fire Rescue. One woman’s injuries required surgery while the other woman suffered bruises and bites to her arm and leg.
The owner of the attacking dogs had been cited in 2015 after his animals attacked another dog. After this second attack, his dogs have been quarantined. Under state law, authorities will give him 10 days to make his property secure for housing the animals. If he cannot do so, they may be destroyed. In addition to citations and fines from Animal Control, Swearengin was cited by police for multiple civil violations.
After a dog has caused an injury to a person or another animal, it is often considered to be dangerous under the law. Florida statutes dictate that any dog deemed dangerous by authorities must be confined securely in an enclosed or fenced-in area. In order for an owner to register a dangerous dog, officials must approve this enclosure and be provided with proof of vaccination. The dog must also be marked with a permanent identifier such as a computer chip or a tattoo.
If you have been hurt in an animal attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Speak with the knowledgeable Sarasota-area dog bite injury attorneys at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn more.