Dallas City Hall Wants $20,000 from Dog Owner Whose Pit Bull Attacked a Code Inspector

Categories: Legal Battles

Pit-Bull-Attack-Attorney-NJ-and-PA.jpg
A Dallas code inspector named Donna Garza was making her appointed rounds back in December 2010 when she came upon the home of Loyd Ferrell Ray, in a tree-lined neighborhood south of Preston Hollow.

As she conducted her routine inspection of his home, Ray's pit bull got loose somehow, and drew a bead on the inspector. Garza was injured. And now the city is suing Ray.

"At no time did Garza provoke the pit bull dog," says the complaint alleging negligence, filed in Dallas district court. The lawsuit doesn't say how badly she was injured. Tom Perkins, the city attorney, declined to elaborate. But it makes clear that the city is out nearly $20,000 in worker's compensation benefits paid to Garza, and it wants Ray to pony up the entire bill.

"Defendant, as having dominion and control of the pit bull that is responsible for the
aforesaid incident, owed a duty to Garza to keep her safe from dangerous conditions by properly constraining and/or confining the dangerous and vicious dog," the complaint reads. "Defendant exposed Garza to a dangerous animal which the Defendant knew or should have known had dangerous propensities."

As such, the city figures, Ray's liable.

Be forewarned, Dallas dog owners: Secure your animals. The city will come after you.


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34 comments
mdewlvr99
mdewlvr99

I have a red nose pit. He is my sweet kid, he sleeps at the end of my bed most nights, other nights sleep next to my German Shepherd. We should be cautious when walking them outside. As we should any type of pet who is bigger than us.. I know personally I only do it in the morning when no one's around. He just gets excited. Im 100 pounds and know he over powers me. Not to say hes dangerous by any means, he just craves attention. And if he were to come out of his chain and run towards someone, there reaction would be to run in fear. My fear would be that the person would think that, because I would think the same if it was a Rottweiler, they are muscular! He has never been threatening to anyone. squirrels and possums are his only enemies. But he only bulks up if threatened (which he only has done towards birds, squirrels, and etc.) as my German Shepard would do the same. I think it definitely all falls on who is raising the dog, whatever breed. I know I feel a lot safer with him and our Shepard. My area of Dallas isnt the safest. Now im not going to take him to a pet smart, again to much going on, he wants everyone to pet him. Has never shown anger? Never again dont think he would unless he has a good reason. He is well trained. And follows commands. I just don't think the headline should shout out to the pit bulls.. Come on, if it was your breed everyone hated you know you'd feel the same.. For most people our pets are our babies. As are both of mine. All animals will stand by there owner as would I stand by them if anyone tried to take them.

henway1
henway1

As far as pit bulls are concerned, I have lived near Denver, where they made pit bulls illegal years ago, after a woman was killed by pit bulls while in her back yard.  It was so, so easy.  The city put it on the ballot and the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of outlawing pit bulls in the city limits.

 

Pit bull owners, predictably, complained and whined.  They said "What will we do with our pit bull?  Can it be grandfathered?"  The City of Denver said "We really don't care what you do.  You can move out of the city to a pit bull friendly municipality, sell your dog, give it to a relative outside the city limits, keep it at a kennel or other location outside the city.  But if its inside the city limits, you're going to get a fine."  It was so easy, and people loved it.

 

I would love to make pit bulls illegal in Dallas.  Let all the pit bull owners move to Garland and Mesquite and they can maul each other ad infinitum.

 

This is really a no brainer.

henway1
henway1

If I were Loyd, I'd be happy that they only want $20,000.  It is inexcusable for a dangerous dog like this to get loose and attack someone.  This dog could have gotten loose and attacked a child or elderly person in the neighborhood.

I have a very gentle lab mix.  However, my dog is either inside the house, or in the back yard with a very, very secure iron gate and very secure 8 ft. fence.

If someone ever needs to access the back yard, i.e. Oncor meter tech, pest control guy, etc., they either ring the doorbell and ask me, or they leave a notice on the door and I call them back and they come and take care of their business.  Its very easy.

 

Rex Curry
Rex Curry

Unless that is the actual dog referred to in the story, The Observer should be ashamed for using it for sensationalism.

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

Google "pit bull attacks child" and see if you'd change your mind.

Vanessa Sanchez
Vanessa Sanchez

Just like everyone wanted to outlaw Rottweilers, German Shepards, and Dobermans in the past decades? You can't blame an incredible breed because of the ignorance of their owners.

Sebastian Gluzman
Sebastian Gluzman

Good for Dallas!! And I really hope the ban ALL pit bulls from Dallas...those are not dogs, are monsters

Kyle McDaniel
Kyle McDaniel

How 'bout we just outlaw the breed that causes 99% of the problems, Pit Bulls?

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

"Pets" shouldn't attack people. If they do, it'll cost you.

Kyla Bussey
Kyla Bussey

article lacks details: did she enter a fenced area? did she do anything to announce her presence to the homeowner or make arrangements to inspect when the owner was present? If someone sneaks onto your property, it's a dog's job to protect home; a chihuahua will do it, too. Does code enforcement have procedural rules for entering onto a property? Did she follow them? Hope the guy can afford a good lawyer. This is one reason my gate is always locked: no mistakes.

mantion
mantion

Why sue now?  Its funny they let the dog live, but want money.  They should of shot the dog and locked up the owner.  

CJ Dylan
CJ Dylan

The city won't go after cats. You can't see them half the time and they certainly don't attack people. Bret, if you need to then buy a live trap and hand them over to the city after you catch them. They work great.

CJ Dylan
CJ Dylan

Hell yeah! About time. Secure your damn animals, people. And I'm all for catching all the strays as well. That's not good for them or us.

Bret Williams
Bret Williams

Does this go for cats, too, I hope? I'm sick and tired of my neighbor's cats shitting in my flower beds.

Shelley Darling
Shelley Darling

Umm..how about the dozen or so who wander our neighborhood? We've called...seen them chase kids..nothing. Nada. I guess if it doesn't cost the city anything..they don't care. Also..Dallas is WAY too inspection crazy when it comes to residences. Stay out of my backyard.

horsefeather
horsefeather

Looks like the dog was doing exactly what the dog should have done:  bit somebody on the ass that got too close without the owner present.  Until the city comes up with some drastically lower crime statistics, code inspectors need to be trained on how to deal with property owners that protect themselves from crime with dogs.  Dogs are very loyal and don't care if you're a cop, a code inspector, a thug, or just a curious neighbor.  The fact that it's a pit bull is irrelevant.  In the 70's it was Dobermans we couldn't trust.

PtMoore
PtMoore

People shouldn't keep vicious dogs. Period. End of story. City should have sued for more.

lisareneemerito
lisareneemerito

I support the City on this one.  People! Get control of your dogs.

 

signed,

 

dog owner

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

This article leaves me with questions.  Did the person enter the property?  Was the property posted with signs?  If these things are both true then Mrs. Garza got what she had coming, this is Texas after all and you can "get off my property."But seriously, if she did enter the property with out permission then what should she expect?  People, including myself, have dogs, dogs bite.  If you enter the dog's domain and get bit then you're a dumb ass for expecting anything other than to get bit. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The mere mention of the name "pit bull" and Big Kitty goes thundering off to hide under the bed.  This breed mystifies me.  The Dog Whisperer has a slew of gentle, sweet Pits, but there are others that are just plain vicious and mean.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

If that pic is the code inspector, no wonder the dog reacted.

cuneform
cuneform

Cute picture.  

 

Is that the actual pet that's being written about or something pulled from Google?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

Was the code inspector on the property?  Did they knock, or announce their presence?  Would a code inspector, cut by razor wire similarly able to sue?  Was the dog loose, or on the property, where the code inspector entered without notifying the homeowner?  Sadly, we have few facts in this story.  Perhaps you could have tried to contact the dog/homeowner, and if you did, you should have told us--as you usually do.  You should have explained that you tried, or couldn't get contact info. 

mdewlvr99
mdewlvr99

Has he ever shown anger*

Now im not going to take him to a pet smart, there is to much going on *

Sorry, stupid smart phone.

mantion
mantion

 @TheJeremyAdams Yes dog bite, but when they do you put them down.  If there is a problem and you don't take any steps to fix it, then sue 2 years later that is silly.  The owner should be in jail for assault and the dog should of been put down.  

mantion
mantion

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Ceaser says he would never bring his pits to an off leash dog park, he only allows them off leash in homes or in confined yards.  

G_David
G_David

 @pak152 Way to completely miss the point of the story.  Nothing new for you though.  For the record, Van Ness ends at Dunhaven less than a mile from what is generally considered Preston Hollow. 

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @scottindallas The razor wire comparison is not really appropriate.  Razor wire doesn't chase you, and wont harm you unless you choose to touch it.  It also stops hurting you when you stop moving.

But it is odd that every other outlet that carries this story reprinted the line from the press release or newswire service that Garza was on the property when this happened.

Kinda puts the owner between a rock and a hard place.  If I lived just north of Love field I would also want a large dog that was trained to protect my property.   But he had to balance his desire to protect his home with the liablitlty of the dog attacking someone.

There is probably enough fault to share between Garza and Ray on this. Ray should have the dog secured, and Garza should announce her presence and alert the homeowner if she needs to actually enter someone's property.

pak152
pak152

s @G_David  @pak152 sorry G_David looking for accuracy in journalism. Van Ness does not and never did lie withiin what is called Preston Hollow. if I follow your line of reasoning then it would be accurate to call it part of the Park Cities. by posting the link to Google maps I provided information that the DO could have and should have provided ie what did the property look like that the code enforcer was investigating? took less than a minute to do the search.

The DO didn't bother to ask "why was the code enforcer investigating the property?" well the aerial view gives you an idea why. it is a junk yard located in a neighborhood of nice homes. One would think that would be something the DO would be investigating. but instead they call it as being in PH

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @CraigT42 you got my point.  I wasn't as pleased with the Razorwire analogy as I would've hoped.  I don't know that we have enough info.  If the dog was fenced in, and Garza entered a closed gate...

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