In March of last year, 8-year-old Erin Ingram was playing in her own front yard when she was suddenly attacked and mauled by her neighbor's two dogs. Details in an article by April Hunt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveal the attack was so brutal that medical doctors had to amputate the young girl's left arm below the elbow. In court, almost a year after the incident, jurors listened to the eight minute 911 call in which Ingram could be heard screaming for help.
Typically, the right to recover for a dog bite in Georgia will be dependent upon either the dog's history and/or the leash laws applicable in the county or city where the dog attack occurred. This dog attack took place in Dekalb County, an area with a strict vicious dog ordinance, and came just months after that very same county was considering lifting its pit bull ban. It's the only county to have such a law, a 2005 proposal for a statewide ban against pit bulls was met with failure. Animal rights activists advocated a repeal of the ban, refusing to attribute the tendency to attack to any particular breed of dog, and choosing instead to criticize bad owners for their pets' behavior. The dog bite incident in March seemed to underscore this point - one dog was a full-blooded pit bull, the other was a mutt. The owner was charged with reckless conduct, violation of county's vicious dog ordinance and not having the dogs immunized for rabies - two counts each, and could face up to five years in jail if found liable and convicted.