Family of child mauled by dogs wants to work to get dog attack laws in Nevada

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A young dog attack victim is back home, after spending four days in the hospital. The family of 10-year-old Guido Mantilla Jr. says he was mauled by his neighbor’s two pit bulls.

Now, the neighbor could be facing a legal trouble.

“Ricardo said ‘you were always my friend,'” Guido Mantilla Jr. said as he read get well letters from his classmates.

Although the letters are supposed to cheer him up, little Guidoe couldn’t help but to still ask questions about what he went through.

“Why it happened,” little Guido asked?

Guido’s father, Guido Mantilla Sr. has questions of his own. He wants to know how the owner of the dogs will be held responsible.

“I don’t blame the animals,” Mantilla Sr. said. “I said that always. The animal was trained to kill.  It did what it was trained to do.”

Nevada doesn’t have specific laws for dog attacks, so Mantilla Senior wants to work to change things.

“This is something that has to stop,” said Mantilla Sr.  “We are not going to sleep at all until these laws get changed.” 

Despite the lack of laws, pet owners can be liable for injuries, so most of these cases end up in civil court.

“We’re essentially talking about a negligence action where someone typically has two years under the statute of limitations to bring a suit,” said Michael Castillo, lead associate attorney, Las Vegas Defense Group.

According to Castillo, in a criminal matter, it’s up to the district attorney’s office to pursue charges if the victim has suffered “substantial bodily harm.”

In a 2015 case, a woman pleaded guilty to a felony charge after her dogs attacked a neighbor, nearly killing her.  In another case last year, a pet owner was charged with child endangerment following a dog attack.

“In order for the dog to be vicious, there would have to be serious injury or death inflicted upon the victim or the owner had previous notice that the dog had been declared dangerous,” Castillo said.

Animal Control can also give out a citation which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months behind bars and or a $1,000 fine.

The Mantilla family says they’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. 

“Thank you for your kindness,” little Guido said.

Clark County Animal Control is investigating, but they would not provide specifics about the case.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for little Guido’s medical bills. If you would like to help go here.  

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