The mother of a child killed in a Fulton County dog attack has filed suit against the company charged with enforcing the county's animal ordinances.
It's been almost exactly a year since 6-year-old Logan Braatz died of wounds suffered during a gruesome dog attack in southwest Atlanta as he and other children walked to a school bus stop.
Chaperones for the children managed to stave off what the suit describes as a "pack of dangerous and vicious dogs" saving many of the rest of the children from harm. But they were unable to protect Braatz, who went to hide in an abandoned home. Sadly, one of the dogs found and attacked the child.
According to the suit filed by Logan's mother Angelica Braatz, first responders arrived to find the boy lying on the ground with bites on his throat and face suffering from cardiac arrest. Though conscious at the time, the injuries proved too much. The boy died in the emergency room at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Another child, 5-year-old Syrai Sanders, was also attacked and severely injured but released from the hospital several weeks later.
Now, Logan's mother is taking the company Fulton County contracted to handle animal service, LifeLine Animal Project, Inc., to court alleging that their inaction was the primary reason for their son's death.
The suit alleges that in the days prior to Braatz's death, there was already a problem with dangerous dogs that had not been handled and that residents and community members had been attacked by these dogs that were roaming free in the neighborhood.
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Angelica Braatz contends that many residents contacted Fulton County in more than one way and that LifeLine Animal Project had no reason to be unaware of the problem.
The suit accuses LifeLine of common law negligence; vicarious liability; negligent hiring, training, and supervision; nuisance; and breach of contract.
They are seeking a monetary verdict on punitive and actual damages of an undetermined amount.
In response to the lawsuit, LifeLife Animal Project issued this statement:
LifeLine Animal Project, which manages Fulton County Animal Services, was heartbroken by the tragic death of Logan Braatz in 2017. The death of a child is unfathomable, and our deepest sympathies go to Logan’s family. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to Syrai Sanders, who was injured in the attack.
With regard to the allegations in the lawsuit, LifeLine denies these allegations and remains confident in our services, actions and dedication to our mission and this city. We otherwise cannot and will not comment on this pending litigation.
LifeLine Animal Project has been dedicated to helping communities with homeless and needy animals since 2002. LifeLine has implemented a number of targeted programs to serve and build relationships with neighbors and communities, and all of these programs and services are provided in addition to the contract with Fulton County. Our Fulton County Animal Control Officers respond to thousands of calls, and many of our officers go into the community off duty to offer support, assist animals and provide dog food for pets of people in need. Dedication to the community has been central to the culture and mission of LifeLine, and we are proud of the thousands of donors and volunteers who help support these community programs. We remain committed to public safety and enforcement of animal control ordinances, and will continue to provide resources for struggling pet owners, promote responsible pet ownership, and combat animal cruelty.