Archive for January, 2012

Chester County – Most Rabies Cases in PA in 2011

Posted on: January 31st, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A Jan. 26, 2012 article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette summarized 2011 statistics regarding rabies in Pennsylvania. Chester County had 29 confirmed animal rabies cases in 2011 – the most in any county in PA. Lancaster County and Allegheny County each had 26 rabies cases, while Westmoreland County reported 25 rabies incidents.

These are the 2011 figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, with 450 animals testing positive for rabies:

* 245 raccoons
* 54 skunks
* 50 cats
* 44 foxes
* 34 bats
* 6 cattle
* 6 groundhogs
* 3 dogs
* 2 deer, beavers, goats
* 1 bobcat

In order for a person or animal to be stricken with rabies, they must come in direct contact with rabid animals. The PA Department of Agriculture defines contact as: bites from an animal, scratches that break the skin or animal saliva that contacts a break in the skin or mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth of the victim person or animal.

If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, call 800-980-4842 for a free home consultation. Attorney Thomas J. Newell has represented Pennsylvania personal injury victims since 1981. See his website, for information regarding Attorney Newell’s work on behalf of dog bite victims throughout PA.

140 Americans Killed by Pit Bulls/Pit Mixes ’04 thru ’11

Posted on: January 27th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A Jan. 16, 2012 press release from claims that pit bulls/pit mixes killed 140 Americans from 2004 thru 2011. These pit bull fatal attacks have averaged 17.5 per year in the last 8 years. Conversely, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a report claiming a total of 23 pit bull caused deaths during the entire 8 years of 1991 thru 1998.

It is unclear as to why fatal pit bull attacks have risen from around 3 per year to a current average of over 17 per annum. One theory is that there is a far greater # of pit bulls today than 15-20 years ago. This author believes that the proliferation of pit bulls in urban areas accounts for this huge increase. Not only is there an increased number of pit bulls and people in urban areas, but the pit bulls have become a “necessity” for those engaged in criminal conduct and have been trained by their owners to fight to the death over any perceived threat.

Even the most fanatical pit bull advocate must admit that something must be done to protect the public from this breed. If you or a loved one have been injured after being attacked by a dangerous dog, please call Attorney Thomas Newell at 800-980-4842 for a free home consultation. Put his 30 years of experience to work for you. Visit his website of to learn more about the PA Dog Law.

Attorney Newell Speaks with Foxhound Attack Victim

Posted on: January 23rd, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Jan. 20, 2012, Attorney Thomas Newell had an opportunity to converse with a Bucks County dog bite victim. Judy Cox and her husband, John had been walking with their 2 dogs, on leashes, in a Bucks County public park in Warwick Township on Dec. 31, 2011. A fox hunt party entered the woods near them. There were numerous horseback riders along with about 24 foxhounds.

These dogs were not under the direct control of the riders and about 6 of the foxhounds attacked Judy Cox and 1 of her dogs as they tried to reach the safety of their home. Even though Judy and her dog were knocked to the ground and bitten, none of the horseback riders dismounted and came to their aid.

According to Mr. Cox, initially none of the dog owners would identify themselves, nor did they volunteer to stay to provide information to the appropriate authorities. It was only after her husband called 911 and demanded some accountability that one of the horseback riders agreed to stay to speak with police. In reading the newspapers accounts and speaking with Judy Cox, it appears to this author that the fox hunters had an attitude that they were above the law.

If you or a family member have been attacked by a dog in Pennsylvania, please call 800-980-4842 for a free home consultation. In just the last 2 years, Attorney Newell has represented dog bite attack victims in 14 different counties in PA. Put his 30 years of experience to work for you. See more details about his background at

New PA Law Proposed Re: Drivers & Bicyclists

Posted on: January 20th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

The Pennsylvania Senate is now considering a bill that would significantly change the obligations of drivers on PA’s roads when they come upon bicyclists. The proposal would require all drivers to maintain at least a 4 foot buffer between their automobile and a bicycle if they want to legally pass the bicyclist.

In 2010, there were 1,485 reported PA car-bicycle accidents, an increase of 84 from 2009. This legislation is designed to reduce the number of bike riders hit by cars in Pennsylvania. The bill would allow a driver to cross the center double yellow line, if necessary, to provide the required 4 feet when passing a bicycle. The driver can only cross the center line when it is safe to do so.

Pennsylvania drivers will also be prohibited from making a right turn that impedes the path of a bicycle. In addition, the bicyclist can go less than the posted minimum speed and not be cited for impeding traffic. If you have been involved in a PA bicycle-car accident, please call 800-980-4842 to set up a free home consultation with Attorney Thomas Newell. Put his 30 years of experience to work for you. Visit his website of to read more about his legal representation of personal injury victims throughout Pennsylvania.

Chicago’s Pit Bull Problems: A Solution for PA?

Posted on: January 17th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Jan. 18, 2012, Chicago’s City Council will yet again visit the dangerous dog issue its residents have been dealing with for years. On Jan. 02, 2012, a jogger in a public park was viciously attacked by 2 pit bulls. A bystander used a bat to try to stop the attack and police officers fatally shot both pit bulls to end the mauling.

The pit bull attack victim was hospitalized in critical condition. The pit bull owner was cited for failing to restrain his dogs and not having dog licenses, with the only punishment being fines. The Chicago politicians will be having hearings to decide how to reduce these vicious dog attacks. Should they ban certain breeds? Should jail time be part of the punishment for dog owners who own dogs running loose in the community and cause serious injuries to people?

The Chicago City Council will be examining laws in other cities/states. This author hopes that the Pennsylvania Legislature will follow suit and thoroughly investigate this health and safety epidemic. Attorney Newell represents dog bite victims throughout Pennsylvania. He currently has clients injured in dog attacks in 9 different counties in PA.

Call 800-980-4842 for a free home consultation. Additional info on the PA Dog Law can be found at

Adopted Dogs, the SPCA and Dog Attacks

Posted on: January 12th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

In the last week of December 2011, 2 PA dog attacks were reported as being caused by dogs recently adopted from the SPCA/local animal shelters. What kind of duty does the SPCA owe the public regarding these dogs?

On the one hand, the SPCA has limited space and financial resources. Their goal is to adopt out as many dogs as possible to minimize the number of dogs required to be put down, as well as having kennel space for new dogs requiring a temporary home.

However, are dogs being provided for adoption that endanger the lives of their new owners and the public at large? On Dec. 23, 2011, a Lansdale dog bite victim was walking in her kitchen when her Labrador mix suddenly and without provocation attacked her. She had just adopted it from the SPCA a few weeks earlier.

On December 26, 2011, a Sutersville PA woman was attacked by dogs she had adopted from local shelters. The lead attack dog was a pit bull. The Westmoreland County dog attack victim sustained bite wounds to her arms, hands and side. She was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital for ongoing medical care.

This author is unaware of any provision of the PA Dog Law which requires the SPCA or a local animal shelter to specifically disclose any past vicious propensities on the part of the dogs they are looking to adopt out. Any information our readers have regarding a specific rule or regulation would be appreciated.

Attorney Newell represents dog bite victims throughout Pennsylvania. Current/recent clients reside in the following Counties: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Westmoreland and York. Call 800-980-4842 for a free home consultation with a PA personal injury lawyer with 30 years of experience. Please also see his website:

Adopted Dog Attacks its Lansdale PA Owner

Posted on: January 4th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Dec. 23, 2011, a dog that had recently been adopted from the SPCA attacked its owner in Lansdale PA. According to, a black Labrador mix had attacked the Lansdale PA dog bite victim in her own kitchen.

The woman said she was walking past the dog when it bit her right hand. The Montco dog attack victim described how the mixed breed dog had such a strong grip that she could not free her right hand and began to use her left hand to try to force the dog to release her. The Lansdale PA resident was rushed to Lansdale Hospital for treatment of multiple dog bites after Lansdale Borough Police were called to subdue the vicious dog.

If you or a loved one have been attacked by an aggressive dog, please consider contacting Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation. You can reach Attorney Newell through his website of or by phone at 800-980-4842. Put his 30 years of legal experience to work for you.