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Animal fighting is a crime. Training dogs and other animals to fight is also barbaric. As part of hi plea bargain, disgraced NFL quarterback Michael Vick admitted that he "electrocuted and beat dogs to death after they lost fights" according to today’s LA Times.

Yet, in Virginia, a dog (and its owner) often cannot be held responsible for the first bite. Virginia, unlike New Jersey and other more enlightened states, does not have a "strict liability law" for dog attacks. In other words, in Virginia, where Vick trained these dogs to attack, maim and kill, a child injured by one of this professional athlete’s canines would have to show "notice" by proving a prior dog bite or animal attack. Otherwise, Vick could claim there was no "notice" that his animal was dangerous or that the quarterback’s highly trained dog would bite anyone. A Virginia court might then dismiss the innocent victim’s injury case, even if there were permanent scars and future surgery still needed!

Leesburg, Loudoun and Fairfax County dog attack lawyer Doug Landau believes this would be a terrible result, and that the Virginia laws in this regard need to be changed. If a dog (or other animal) has been trained, bred and/or programmed to attack, fight and/or bite, then the owner should be held responsible. There is strict liability for those responsible for using such dangerous things as explosives. ABRAMS LANDAU lawyer Landau believes that owners of dangerous and "explosive" animals should also be held strictly accountable and liable for their animals’ actions, injuries and harm.

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