Stafford County

Virginia Man, 80, Says Neighbor's Dog Bit Off Part of His Ear, Wants Stricter Laws

A dog that attacked an 80-year-old man in Stafford County, Virginia, three times in a matter of weeks - and bit off part of the man's ear - is back home with its owner.

Larry Marshall said he was standing in his yard in Fredericksburg in September talking to his neighbor when the man's Great Dane attacked him.

"All of a sudden was this blur from my right and the very intense thud to my head, right side of my head and neck," Marshall said. "An excruciating amount of pain."

Doctors performed hours of reconstructive surgery on Marshall's ear and it required 60 stitches.

Marshall said the dog had bitten him twice before causing puncture wounds.

When Marshall went to court, he said he walked away stunned because the judge determined the dog was dangerous -- not vicious -- sparing the dog’s life.

"The judge made a grave error," Marshall said.

Under Virginia law, owners of a dog deemed dangerous must follow certain rules like having it wear a muzzle and posting a "dangerous dog" sign.

But Marshall says that is not enough and believes the dog should be euthanized. He said he is afraid the dog could get loose and hurt someone else in the neighborhood.

He said he's working with lawmakers to strengthen Virginia law in dog bite cases.

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