Irina from San Francisco writes, “Chris, I own a small, rescue dog who is afraid of larger dogs. My son and I were walking our dog, on the sidewalk and on his leash, to a nearby park when suddenly a Rottweiler dog, off leash, came around the corner and bounded up to my dog. Afraid for my dog, I reached down to pick him up. The Rottweiler jumped up on me, viciously biting my arm just above my elbow drawing blood. Throughout the ordeal my son, 6, was screaming and crying. I was afraid that the Rottweiler was going to kill me, my son, or the dog. Finally, the owner of the dog ran up and pulled his dog off me, said he was sorry, and that his dog had never acted this way before. I had to go to the hospital where I was treated for the puncture wounds. The dog also lacerated a tendon near my elbow and I may need surgery. I have developed an infection and now I am taking antibiotics. I am told I will have a permanent scar from the bite marks. My son is in therapy now as he shakes and starts breathing rapidly when he encounters a large dog.
The dog owner got nasty when I told him his dog should be on a leash. He seemed offended and said if my dog hadn’t barked he wouldn’t have been bitten. I called the police and he started walking away so I took his picture. They arrived and found him in the park. He is a finance guy living in a big house in Noe Valley. I always thought people that filed lawsuits were just trying to make a quick dollar, but now that my son and I have been injured by this guy’s careless attitude I can see why people sue guys like him. I want to know what my rights are. I have medical bills, lost time at work, need future plastic surgery, and my son in in therapy.”