Lawsuit filed after dog’s attack on toddler at Hollenback

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Katelyn Davis comforts her 2 year-old son Hayden after the boy suffered a serious dog bite to his arm while playing in a playground near the Hollenback Dog Park in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year. The family has filed suit in connection with Hayden’s bites. - Times Leader File

WILKES-BARRE — The mother of a young boy who was viciously attacked by a dog in Hollenback Park is filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner, according to the mother’s attorney.

Hayden Davis, 2, was mauled by the dog as he reached through the fence at Wilkes-Barre’s Hollenback Dog Park in May.

His mother, Hayden Davis, is represented by Michael Pisanchyn of the Pisanchyn Law Firm. Pisanchyn sent a copy of the suit to the Times Leader Thursday afternoon.

According to the suit, the dog, which is believed to be a hybrid of a Siberian Husky and a wolf, is allegedly owned by David Cannon, 54, of Plains Township, the suit’s defendant.

When the dog grabbed onto Hayden, Pisanchyn writes, he suffered several puncture wounds to his right arm in addition to a break to his arm.

Pisanchyn’s suit is accusing Cannon of a string of negligence that led to Hayden’s wounds.

Cannon had a duty to keep the dog restrained while at the dog park and to properly train the dog, something Pisanchyn said Cannon simply did not do.

Pisanchyn wrote that Cannon came into previous legal issues regarding the dog, pleading guilty to a count of “animal running at large” in 2015.

But that isn’t the last of legal issues regarding the dog, according to the suit. Pisanchyn claims the dog was not properly registered at all, adding that the dog’s nature as a hybrid required the owner to get an additional permit to keep an exotic animal, something Pisanchyn claims Cannon also did not do.

Cannon also allegedly violated Pennsylvania’s Dog Law, which requires that a “dangerous dog” be properly enclosed either in a pen or by a muzzle in public.

Here, “dangerous dog” is a legal term, which Pisanchyn says can be proved through a minimum of one instance of an attack.

However, Pisanchyn also says Cannon allowed the dog to attack other humans and animals in the past, with Cannon’s dogs mauling a chihuahua in 2012 in the same dog park. Cannon was found not guilty of a summary charge related to this incident in 2013.

Since the dog was not muzzled and was thus able to attack Hayden, Pisanchyn argues Cannon is liable for the dog’s attack.

The Times Leader previously reported after Hayden’s injury in May that Cannon, then unidentified, packed the dog in question and two other dogs into his car and left the park without attempting to help.

Court records show Cannon pleaded guilty last week to a summary count of unlawfully permitting an animal to injure a human being. He was fined $197.39.

The Davis’ suit, though, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages to cover the medical expenses and psychological effects of the attack.

Efforts to reach a representative for Cannon were not immediately successful.

Katelyn Davis comforts her 2 year-old son Hayden after the boy suffered a serious dog bite to his arm while playing in a playground near the Hollenback Dog Park in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year. The family has filed suit in connection with Hayden’s bites.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL051018DogBite1.cmyk_-2.jpgKatelyn Davis comforts her 2 year-old son Hayden after the boy suffered a serious dog bite to his arm while playing in a playground near the Hollenback Dog Park in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year. The family has filed suit in connection with Hayden’s bites. Times Leader File

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]