Some people might think she has a face only a mother could love, but Martha the mastiff doesn’t care. She just won the 29th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in 2017.
Martha was awarded $1,500 and a trip to New York, but her handler said she’d probably just like a nap.
Although it might seem a little mean, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is in good fun, and many of the contestants have been adopted as rescues from shelters. It is clear that every owner over in Petaluma, Northern California, truly loves his or her pet, even though these dogs might not be as “cute” as the puppies that flood the Internet.
Ugly Dogs Bite, Too
Contests aside, laws regarding pets are not concerned with whether the dog is beautiful or ugly. In Illinois, dog owners are responsible for their pets’ behavior and may be held liable for injuries and damages caused by their dogs, both large and small.
If a dog escapes its home property and attacks someone, the owner (or current caretaker) may be liable. If a lawful guest is on the dog owner’s property and is attacked, the owner may be liable. The only exception is often if the dog was “provoked.” Provocation can be a contentious point after a dog attack, but in general, it must have been some form of physical intimidation or violence against the dog leading to the attack.
For dog owners, it is important to remember that prior good behavior is no defense against a dog bite claim—all dogs are capable of attacking someone, even if they have been friendly before.
Large Breeds Carry More Risk
Champion Martha the mastiff weighs 125 lbs. She’s a mostly blind “gentle giant,” but often, such big dogs are more dangerous than say, a Chihuahua.
Larger dogs are much more capable of biting a person’s head, face, or neck, causing catastrophic injury. This is especially true for children. The jaws and teeth of a large dog can disfigure a person during an attack, requiring not only emergency medical treatment, but also reconstructive surgery. Big dogs can also accidentally injure people simply by pushing them over, or jumping on someone when excited.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog in Chicago, you can sue to hold the owner financially responsible. Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today at (312) 644-0444. We have over 25 years of experience in personal injury cases, and will work aggressively to help you recover from the attack, both physically and financially. Call today.