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NBC Anchorwoman Bit in Face by Rescue Dog Recovering

3-year-old Gladiator Maximus is an 85-pound Argentine mastiff dog. On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, “Max,” as he is called by his owner Michael Robinson, was rescued from an icy lake in the Denver area by firefighter Tyler Sugaski.

Max was chasing a coyote when he fell into the icy lake. His owner said he was just swimming around in circles in the icy lake. Robinson says he thought about trying to go in and rescue his dog, but he is glad that he did not. Fortunately, the firefighter was able to rescue Max and get him out of the icy lake. Sugaski said the dog instinctively knew that he was there to help him and came to him.

Denver NBC affiliate KUSA thought that Max’s rescue would be a great feel-good segment on popular anchorwoman Kyle Dyer’s local show, “Kyle’s Kritters”. On  Wednesday, February 8th, Robinson brought Max in for a live, in-studio segment of the show. It was intended to be a celebration of Max’s rescue.

Prior to the live segment of the show, several people interacted with Max according to KUSA vice president of news Patti Dennis. As they did so, everything seemed to be fine.

However, during the live segment, Dyer knelt down in front of Max and was petting him. As she attempted to get closer, Max bit her in the face.

The Mastiff bite Caused the News Lady to Get Reconstructive Surgery

Paramedics and animal control were called to the studio. Dyer was then rushed to a Denver hospital where reconstructive surgery was done overnight. The surgeon was pleased with the outcome of the surgery, and Dyer wanted everyone to know that she was alright. However, she was concerned about the people who watched the unfortunate incident take place on live TV.

Max was taken to a Denver animal shelter where he is being quarantined for 10 days. During this time, the Denver Animal Care and Control will check Max for signs of illness that includes rabies. After the 10 days quarantine, Max may be released to his owner Robinson. A judge will hold a hearing to determine Max’s fate.

Robinson was cited by Denver Animal Control for violation of Colorado leash law for not having control of his dog at all times, for allowing his dog to bite and for not having Max properly vaccinated. Robinson has to face these charges in court on April 4, 2012.

Colorado is a state that imposes strict liability on a dog owner for injuries that are caused by their dog. This is regardless of the dog’s vicious propensity. In some states, a dog gets what is referred to as “one free bite.” Although there are exceptions in these states, what this means is that the first time a dog bites a person, the dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by their dog. Dogs do not get “one free bite” in Colorado.

However, Colorado dog bite law does not allow the victim of a dog bite to bring a lawsuit against the dog owner if the injuries from the dog bite are considered to be minor. You are only permitted to sue a dog owner if your injuries are serious. Serious injuries include skin lacerations, bruises or muscle tears that have to have medical treatment or corrective surgery.

Dyer was unable to talk after the four hour surgery because her mouth was stitched shut. She was released from the hospital on Thursday, February 9th. Dyer is doing well and is expected to make a recovery. She will not return to work for several weeks.