Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Cane Corsos viciously maul teenager in California

Cane corsos, a large mastiff type dog, have been involved in many cases in which people have been killed or seriously injured. Keeping this kind of dog in a group with other “pack” members in a home setting with children present becomes especially problematic, as in the current instance.

The circumstances are not known about a recent mauling of a teenager in California by a pack Cane Corsos. The incident happened the afternoon of October 30, 2022 in Thousand Oaks, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

  • The victim, a 16-year-old female, was viciously attacked in front yard of her home by either five or six Cane Corsos.
  • The victim was living in the same house with these dogs. Some if not most of these dogs are believed to have taken part in the attack.[1]News reports are conflicting as to whether five or six Cane Corso’s lived at the residence.
  • A neighbor witnessed the attack and called authorities. He approached the dogs wanting to stop the attack but was forced to retreat after the dogs aggressively chased him away.
  • The victim sustained serious bite wounds to her head body and arms. She was transported to hospital in serious condition. Fortunately, she is expected to recover. Nonetheless, given the circumstances, she was very lucky that she was not killed.
  • The victim’s mother was also attacked and bitten as she tried to shield her daughter from the attack.
  • After their quick arrival, authorities were able to stop the attack by blaring sirens, using pepper spray and waving firefighter’s tools at the dogs. Video showing the dogs – totally fearful – being taken away with catch poles by animal control can be viewed here.

Animal behavior perspective

People have been viciously attacked and killed by Cane corsos, as noted elsewhere on this website. What may have been the impetus behind the incident is not known at this time. However, of all of the dogs probably did not participate in the attack. Rather, what probably happened is that one dog started the attack and then immediately thereafter one or two pack members joined in. There was likely one “ringleader” and the rest were followers. In other words, the so-called “pack mentality”. This is what usually happens when a pack of dogs are involved in a human dog bite-related fatality. The danger dog packs present to public safety has been noted elsewhere on this website.

I remain confused as to why anyone would want to keep a pack of six Cane corsos in their home. In the current situation, it’s possible that the dogs were used for breeding. Nonetheless, this does not lessen the problematic nature of keeping a group Cane corsos in a residential setting, particularly with children living in the same household. Child endangerment should be considered if what is eventually learned about the dogs warrant filing criminal charges against the owner. Alternatively, the owner of these dogs could be charged under California Penal Code 399.[2]California Penal Code 399 has two parts, one dealing with a dog bite fatality and the other specific to serious bodily injury: (a) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous … Continue reading

Read other stories about Cane Corsos.

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Richard Polsky, Ph.D. provides animal behavior expert witness services to attorneys in California and throughout the USA. He will consider assignments from attorneys seeking expert witness testimony.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1News reports are conflicting as to whether five or six Cane Corso’s lived at the residence.
2California Penal Code 399 has two parts, one dealing with a dog bite fatality and the other specific to serious bodily injury:

(a) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, kills any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a felony.

(b) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, causes serious bodily injury to any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony.