One day before Bruce the dog was supposed to be euthanized for biting Suzette Laughton, leaving her with 30 stitches, the dog attacked her again, and also her boyfriend, mauling them in their Roseville home.
Bruce was euthanized this week after he severely mauled Laughton, 52, and her boyfriend, Michael Mager, 51, in a Sunday night attack that authorities said occurred without provocation, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Today, Laughton's son, Robert Laughton, 29, of Roseville, was charged with owning a dangerous animal that caused serious injury, a four-year felony, according to the Macomb County prosecutor's office. Laughton was arraigned this afternoon and given a $5,000 surety bond in 39th District Court in Roseville.
He entered a not guilty plea and said he would retain his own attorney. He is allowed to stay with his mother and her boyfriend but is not allowed to purchase another animal until the court tells him he can. His next court dates are May 17 and May 24.
A Roseville police detective told Steenland that Laughton has been cooperative during the investigation and has a clear record and no criminal history.
Bruce bit Suzette Laughton on April 19, opening a wound on her hand that required 30 stitches to close, the prosecutor's office said. Robert Laughton executed a 10-day order prepared by the county animal shelter in which he agreed to quarantine the animal prior to its being surrendered to the shelter for euthanization on May 1.
The dog was kept in quarantine at the home — and bit Suzette Laughton and Michael Mager a day before it was to be euthanized.
Police Chief James Berlin said Laughton was issued two tickets at the time of the earlier attack and cited in district court for harboring a vicious animal and failure to license his dog, both misdemeanors.
Suzette Laughton was released from the hospital Wednesday; Mager remains hospitalized. They had bites to their arms and faces, authorities said. Mager is expected to be released from the hospital next week.
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What To Do If A Dog Bites You in Michigan
If you or someone you care about was bitten or attacked by a dog in Michigan, you should take the following steps:
- Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
- Try to keep the injured area elevated.
- Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Get prompt medical attention at a hospital, urgent care clinic, or doctor's office
- Notify Animal Control or the Police Department and file a written report
- Take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible after the dog bite
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What Are The Michigan Dog Bite Laws?
MCL Section 287.351 is the Michigan law for dog bites and attacks.
(1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.
(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner's property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner's property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.
In addition to the dog bite statute, Michigan also has common laws that are used for victims to make claims for injuries caused in an attack. Under Michigan’s common law, the dog attack victim only has to prove that the owner of the dog knew (or should have known) that the dog had vicious propensities. A dog owner is also liable if the dog was not on a leash at the time of the attack if the attack occurred on public property, like a park, public street, or neighboring property.
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