What Can Happen If Your Dog Kills In Texas..Delivery Driver Mauled
I know we all give delivery drivers a hard time. Sometimes, they are late. Sometimes they deliver to the wrong house. Sometimes, they seem to be a little reckless with our deliveries.
Being a delivery driver can at times seem like a thankless job. It is not often that it turns deadly. Unfortunately, that seems to be what has happened in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The body of the 50 year old delivery driver, who has yet to be identified by police was found with bite marks all over his body.
Police are investigating whether two dogs who lived at the home, may have been responsible for mauling. When police arrived on the scenes the dogs, a German shepherd and a mastiff were acting aggressive and had to be shot. There was no sign of the owners of the dogs.
Turns out they were out of town.
Neighbors became suspicious when they noticed the Amazon van sitting in front of the house for two hours and reported it to police. Reportedly, the house had a fence with a latched gate and "Beware of Dog" signs out front. The dogs also had a doggy door that allowed them to enter the fenced yard.
Dog bites accounted for the third most-common injury among Amazon delivery contractors and the U.S. Postal Service had multiple dog attacks on carriers last year.
So in Texas if your dogs injure or kill someone what is your liability? In November 2 2005 Lillian Stiles, 76 was mauled to death by a pack of dogs. The grand jury indicted their owner, Jose Hernandez, for criminally negligent homicide. The jury found him "not guilty".
You can be convicted of a felony in Texas if your dog attacks someone There are two instances in which a dog owner can be convicted of a criminal offense.
- If, with criminal negligence as defined by §6.03 of the Penal Code, they fail to secure the dog and the dog, in a place other than the owner’s real property, boat, or motor vehicle, makes an unprovoked attack on another person that causes serious bodily injury or death; and
- If they know their dog is a dangerous dog by receiving notice in a manner described in the Texas Health & Safety Code, and the dog, in a place other than the owner’s real property, boat, or motor vehicle, makes an unprovoked attack on another person that causes serious bodily injury or death.
Under this law, it would have been difficult to prove a criminal offense in Texas because the dogs were in a "secure enclosure" meaning a "fenced area or structure that is:
- Capable of preventing the entry of the general public, including children;
- Capable of preventing the dog from leaving on its own;
- Clearly marked as containing a dangerous do; and
- In compliance with the enclosure requirements established by the local animal control.
Of course, this doesn't protect the home owner from civil penalties and lawsuits. These can be very costly and major inconvenient to defend against.
The tragic loss of a delivery driver like this makes me feel extremely sad. No one should lose their life, doing their job and trying to support their family. Dog owners should be very careful in keeping dogs anywhere they can come into contact with unsuspecting members of the public including delivery drivers or children.
Maybe, the laws need to be a little more strict.