When 3-year-old Victoria Welcher was attacked by a gang of pit bulls, her injuries left her scarred for life. Her family knew the adjustment would be difficult, but they didn’t expect it to get them thrown out of a restaurant. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened at a Jackson, Miss., KFC.
Victoria was attacked in April by three put bulls while staying with her grandfather and his girlfriend. A sheriff described it as among the worst pit bull attacks the area had ever had: she has paralysis in half of her face, experienced difficulty eating and swallowing and has visible scars across her face.
But the tragedy for little Victoria doesn’t end there. With several surgeries behind her and more yet to go, Victoria was on her way home from the hospital with her grandmother earlier this month when they stopped at a KFC. They ordered mashed potatoes, which are easy for Victoria to eat.
But the staff didn’t want her there. According to the family, while they were eating a KFC employee approached the grandmother and told them they had to leave because “her face is disrupting our customers.”
Understandably, no one in Victoria’s family was pleased. The comment was made in front of the 3-year-old, who understood and burst into tears. She is embarrassed about her appearance and avoids going into public spaces like stores.
But when Victoria’s family denounced KFC on social media, the company’s attitude changed dramatically. They apologized on Facebook immediately, saying they have “zero tolerance” for such disrespect and asking for details. And the company took action—dramatic action.
“The company is making a $30,000 donation to assist with her medical bills. The entire KFC family is behind Victoria,” a KFC spokesman said in a statement. The large donation is just the first of many in the fund that KFC created, which now totals over $80,000.
In an era of bland corporate apologies, KFC seems to have backed up its words with action. But a corporate donation fund like this is an interesting counterpoint to the usual support for dog bite victims, which is compensation from the owner of the dog.
In Victoria’s case, her grandfather was raising 10 pit bulls including the three that attacked her. He personally shot two of them after the incident, and the third was later euthanized. There is no word whether Victoria’s family has received any settlement from his insurance.
All dog attack victims should know that they are eligible to receive compensation—often far more than an insurance company will offer on its own. Many dog victims will bear scars for life and endure the stares and snipes of those around them, and most will not receive an apology fund to help with medical bills. Instead, that support should come from those responsible.
If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, let us give you a free analysis of your legal options for compensation.