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Dog Bite Victim Sues Animal Services

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Dr. Nancy Matthews, an equine veterinarian in the San Diego area, has filed suit against the county Animal Services Department, alleging that it failed to protect the public from a pair of dangerous dogs which mauled her in November of 2006. According to the suit, the county failed to properly investigate previous attacks by the dogs in question. Animal Services contends that it did all that it was obligated to do while still respecting the rights of the dogs’ owner, Pedro Torres. Torres pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 4 years probation in connection with the attack, in a rare court decision.

Matthews is not satisfied with Torres’ conviction and maintains that the county ought to have imposed more restrictions on the dogs after the two previous attacks. She claims the attack has made her unable to practice her profession, since she is afraid of dogs on horse farms, as well as suffering from psychologically paralyzing flashbacks and chronic neck pain. She is seeking unspecified damages.

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