Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but a vicious dog can bring about life-threatening injuries and even death. A wrenching story in New York magazine detailed the experience of one Manhattanite when her beloved mixed-breed dog was attacked by a pack of dogs owned by a homeless man. Her tale of not being able to bring the dogs and their owner to justice helps illustrate the holes in New York City laws that you might expect could prevent such incidents. The dogs allegedly were responsible for multiple deadly attacks on other dogs, yet no law enforcement agency was able to do anything about it.

The writer of the article was not looking for compensation, in part because the owner of the vicious dogs had no assets whatsoever. Her only goal was to prevent future attacks and she concludes she failed in that task, in part because criminal charges are possible only when the victim is a human.

When dogs attack humans, however, the laws in New York are clear that victims of  dog bites  can get compensation for injuries for pain and suffering and permanent damage to their bodies and medical expenses as well as psychological damage.

The owner of an attack dog can be held financially responsible if propensity for viscous behavior of the dog before the attack can be established. Previous bites, an owner’s need to restrain the dog, and growling, snapping and the baring of teeth, as observed prior to the attack in question may qualify as such evidence. In addition certain breeds of dogs are considered by law to have a vicious propensity. Anyone looking to sue a dog owner for an attack is often acting out of a need for compensation for physical injuries and a qualified dog attack attorney will often understand the emotional damage of the victim as well. Speak with a lawyer who has experience representing victims of dog attacks as lawsuits as the result of dog bites are usually about psychological damage as well as the physical injuries.