San Juan County Under-sheriff Mark McCloskey reported that both the dog and its owner were at their home on County Road 5793 located in the Wild Horse Valley on the day of the dog attack when the young boy kicked or dropped a ball into the dog owner's front yard. The ball hit the dog and led to the dog attack and dog bite.
New Mexico is not a statutory strict liability state - a state that makes the dog owner legally liable to any victim of their dog attacks. Instead it is a "one-bite law" state in which a dog gets "one free bite" before the owner is responsible for his or her dog's actions. In this case, since the dog had no previous history of biting either people or animals, and since the dog had no previous history of being aggressive or dangerous, the owner will not face any charges or penalties in this case. The dog was also licensed, healthy, and current on all of its vaccinations, eliminating any possibility of owner negligence that could have also ended in a dog bite legal case.
Although he was not required to do so, the owner of the dog that bit the boy turned his male, eight-year-old Akita over to local animal control officials. The dog will be kept for a ten-day quarantine, as is protocol, and then put to sleep at the owner's behest.
There also seem to be no charges filed against the daycare by the bitten boy's family, and McCloskey said that the childcare facility is properly licensed and legally operating. Officials imply that the daycare attendants and owners were not liable for the dog bite in this case. No other animals are present in the area.