Bicyclists in California already have enough risk to worry about. Cycling in the state can be dangerous due to traffic flow, and no matter where a cyclist is he faces the threat of death or injury by sharing the roads with vehicles whose drivers too often fail to see bikers.
Incidents that occurred earlier this month prove that there is a further threat for bicyclists to worry about, and it is a threat that is usually preventable: dog attacks. On July 4, two California cyclists were attacked by a pack of pit bulls. One of the animal attack victims needed significant treatment at a hospital.
Residents in the Delhi area where both dog attacks occurred reported to police who responded to the incidents that they had seen several pit bull dogs in the area who were unattended by an owner. The theory is that the dogs managed to get out of their yards and, therefore, became a threat to the general public.
And based on the animal attack reports, it sounds like the pack of dogs found some fun in chasing down moving bicyclists in particular. Both injured cyclists report being chased down by the pack of dogs and then attacked. One of the victims sustained a bite to his leg, while the second sustained injuries to his arms, legs and torso.
There is ongoing, consistent, passionate debate regarding the safety of pit bulls and whether they should be allowed as pets in communities. Whether banning the breed is the answer is not for us to judge. What is up for judgment, however, is whether dog owners live up to their responsibility as animal owners. Pets are the property of their owners and must be controlled accordingly.
Authorities are investigating the dog attacks, meaning that criminal consequences could result from the incidents. Victims of animal attacks also have the option of seeking further legal ramifications through premises liability lawsuits.
Source: Opposing Views, "Pack of Pit Bulls Attack Cyclists in California," Denise A. Justin, July 9, 2012