Dog-Bite-Law Man Bitten

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Last weekend, the author of New Mexico’s recently-passed Dangerous Dog Act was attacked by his dog.

Bob Schwartz, an assistant to the state governor, helped push through the hotly-debated Senate Bill 432, called the "Dangerous Dog Act," which was designed to make dog owners accountable for attacks by their pets. Among other things, the act makes it unlawful for owners of a "dangerous or potentially dangerous dog" to fail to notify animal control authorities after an attack by the dog on any "human being or domestic animal," and subjects owners to felony charges if the dog "causes serious injury to a human being without provocation."

Schwartz is reportedly a human being and did sustain serious injuries in the dog attack (he was hospitalized), although he could defend against any felony charges brought against him under his law by proving that he provoked his dog into attacking him. Luckily, his failure to report his dog’s attack on him to animal control is only a misdemeanor.

A state senator who had worked with Schwartz on the bill said it was designed to make owners accountable, but said "I guess when it happens in your own family, that’s another story." No, when it happens in your own family, it’s domestic violence.

Schwartz would have a defense if this is the first time his dog has attacked anyone, under an exception that apparently allows one free bite.

AP via