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Shelter Reviews Safety Plans in Aftermath of Fatal Dog Bite Attack


Dogs have a well earned reputation for being loyal, loving, and protective companions. Rather than simply considering them a pet, many dog owners feel their ‘fur babies’ are more like family members. Unfortunately, this can blind them and others to the fact that dogs can strike out if they are hungry, hurt, or feeling threatening. A recent tragedy at a local shelter involving a dog bite attack highlights the potential dangers. 

St. Lucie Shelter Volunteer Killed In Dog Attack

The Humane Society of St. Lucie County is a valuable asset in the Fort Pierce community, helping to protect unwanted animals and strays. Many people visit to adopt a new friend or to provide comfort to the animals as a volunteer. Unfortunately, a recent tragedy calls into question some of the policies at the shelter and the safety of those who visit on a regular basis.

According to a May 14, 2019 report by WPTV News, shelter administrators are reviewing procedures that are currently in place after a dog attack claimed the life of a local volunteer. The woman was killed days before while she was in a fenced area of the shelter interacting with a mixed breed dog. Unfortunately, there are no cameras or eyewitnesses to corroborate what happened. The only known fact about the case is the medical examiners ruling that the woman died due to a loss of blood resulting from multiple dog bite injuries.

Shelter administrators and other volunteers are uncertain of what may have caused the attack but claim it is an isolated incident. They hope it does not dissuade people from adopting or volunteering. Shelter administrators are reviewing why the woman was alone with the dog and working to implement new policies that would protect the safety of visitors.

Protecting Yourself Against Dog Bites

While dogs can be cute, cuddly, and playful, even one you know well can bite or attack under certain conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that with close to 40 percent of all families owning at least one dog as a pet, bites are common and can cause serious damages.

In addition to torn muscles, nerve damage, and massive blood loss, even a minor bite can cause potentially life threatening infections. The CDC recommends the following tips to protect yourself:

  • Always check with the owner before reaching out to pet a dog;
  • Never disturb dogs who are eating, injured, or nursing their young;
  • Be aware that commotion and crowds can make dogs fearful and more likely to lash out;
  • If you encounter an unleashed dog, stay calm and slowly back away rather than screaming or running.
  • If a dog attacks, curl into a tight ball, shielding sensitive areas such as your hands, face, and neck.

Let Us Help You Today

When dog bites leave you with serious injuries, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III can advise you on how to get compensation for the medical expenses and other damages you suffer.  To request a consultation, contact our Fort Pierce dog bite attorney today.


The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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