CLINTON, Iowa — The parents of an Iowa toddler are suing the local Humane Society and a pair of pet owners after a newly-adopted dog bit their child. 
Tyler and Holly Harrison, parents of 15-month-old Lucas Harrison, filed the lawsuit last week.
In March, friends of the Harrisons — Kris and Ashley Greene — adopted a dog named Emmet from the Clinton, Iowa, Humane Society. Shortly after, Emmet attacked and bit Lucas, injuring a large section of his face. The attack left him without parts of his gum and bone, permanent teeth, and most of his nose cartilage.
The attack has brought national attention, with a GoFundMePage raising $170,000 for Lucas' recovery.
The lawsuit makes several claims against the Clinton Humane Society — including product liability, negligence and breach of express warranty. The Harrisons also are suing the Greenes, claiming one count of strict liability for dog owners. The city of Clinton also cited Ashley Greene for owning a dangerous dog, to which she plead not guilty.
According to the lawsuit, the Humane Society could have prevented the attack by informing the Greenes of "foreseeable risk of harm" in the dog.
The Clinton Humane Society advertised the dog as child-friendly, the lawsuit claims.
Some of the warnings listed in the suit that the Clinton Humane Society should have included:
  • Proper precautions the Greenes should have taken during Emmet's transition into their home
  • Proper precautions the Greenes should have taken when bringing their dog into other homes, especially where another dog or small children would be there.
  • Explaining to the Greenes that the Clinton Humane Society was unable to determine if the dog is child-friendly.
  • Warning the Greenes that Emmet came from a shelter in Louisiana where he had stayed for more than five months, and that the shelter was planning to euthanize him.
  • Warning the Greenes their dog could be a pit bull mix. The lawsuit claims the Clinton Humane Society advertised him as a boxer mix.
  • Warning the Greenes to be cautious when the dog was near infants and small children.
By neglecting to do so, the Humane Society contributed to the cause of the attack, according to the lawsuit.
The Harrisons are seeking compensation, including Lucas' medical expenses that they say will continue into his adult life. Additionally, the Harrisons say Lucas has experienced great pain, suffering and mental anguish. They also claim the attack will result in a loss of his future earnings.
The Clinton Humane Society declined to comment. Their lawyers did not return requests for comment.
Rohlf writes for the Clinton, Iowa Herald.

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