A misdemeanor charge was filed Tuesday against a Glouster woman eight days after her dog allegedly bit her neighbor’s 11-year-old daughter, injuring her.
Jamie Hoyd, 38, faces a single minor misdemeanor charge of failure to control an animal.
Meanwhile, Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said Tuesday that his office has officially designated Hoyd’s dog as a “dangerous animal” (Smith said Hoyd did not contest that designation), meaning Hoyd must take certain provisions with the dog to protect the public’s safety.
Hoyd’s neighbor, Stacie Robison, 31, said that her daughter, Miley McKee, 11, was walking her 1-year-old sister, Claire, on their home street in Glouster last Monday (June 3) when a neighbor’s dog ran up to her and appeared to be ready to attack the baby. Robison said McKee likely saved her baby sister, pulling the stroller away to keep the baby away from the dog. However, in the process, Miley was bitten by the dog. The dog then attempted to drag the older girl down a nearby hillside.
Miley’s two friends – Glouster residents Presley and Peyton Nelson – pulled her away from the dog (a pit-bull terrier mix), and they got away to safety, Robison said. The dog was not on a leash.
“She (Miley McKee) has seven puncture wounds on her leg, and ended up with nine stitches (after going to the hospital),” Robison explained.
Sheriff Smith – who since earlier this year has been the official county dog warden – said Tuesday that the dog being designated as a “dangerous dog” means the owner must abide by several requirements for keeping the animal restrained, including:
• It must be kept physically confined or restrained at any time when on the premises of its owner by a leash, tether, “adequate fence, supervision, or secure enclosure to prevent escape.”
• While on the premises of its owner, the dog, if it’s outside, must be securely confined at all times in a “locked pen that has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure that has a top.”
• When the dog is outside the premises, the owner must keep it on a “chain-link leash or tether that is not more than 6 feet in length and additionally do at least one of the following”: either keep the dog in a locked pen that has a top, in a locked fenced yard, or in another “locked enclosure that has a top”; or “have the leash or tether controlled by a person who is of suitable age and discretion or securely attach, tie, or affix the leash or tether to the ground or a stationary object or fixture so that the dog is adequately restrained, and station such a person in close enough proximity to that dog so as to prevent it from causing injury to any person”; or muzzle the dog.
• Smith also said that the owner will be required to have liability insurance for the dog, obtain a “dangerous dog certification” from the county Auditor’s office, and notify the county dog warden immediately if the dog gets out or attacks a new person.
THE ATHENS CITY-COUNTY Health Department, meanwhile, is responsible for ensuring a quarantine of the dog for 10 days, which is required by Ohio law. Smith confirmed last week that the Health Department has done so, with the dog quarantined at the owners’ home on Spring Street in Glouster.
Sheriff’s Det. Ryan Gillette – who is responsible for day-to-day operations of the county Dog Shelter – investigated the incident for the Sheriff’s Office, which resulted in the charge against Hoyd. Gillette said last week that the decision on where to quarantine a dog after it’s bitten somebody is left with the individual owner, whether that be at owner’s home or at the Dog Shelter (although there are fees associated with a dog being housed there).
Gillette confirmed that the Glouster Police Department previously cited the owner of the dog for a “dog at large” violation. Athens County Municipal Court records show that the dog’s owner pleaded guilty to a minor misdemeanor count of failure to control an animal last August.
Robison said she has spoken with her neighbors about the dog in question, some of whom had their own complaints about the previously unrestrained animal’s aggressive behavior.
She said last week that despite the dog being on quarantine, she said she has seen Hoyd leave the door to the home open in the days since the attack, and said she continues to worry about the dog’s aggressive behavior if it’s ever set free again. Still, she said she doesn’t want the dog to be euthanized.
Robison also said she’s upset that it took until last Thursday for the Sheriff’s Office to speak with her about the incident.
“I just am concerned about this lady and her child having to be afraid to walk down their own street; that shouldn’t happen,” Sheriff Smith said at the time. “...I just want to assure people that I’m going to take any measure I can to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and it should not have happened (in the first place).”
Robison said the dog being designated as a nuisance or dangerous animal is a good first step, but that still won’t entirely solve the problem.
“I want the dog away from the area (in an area) where no children are close,” she said. “Then the owner wouldn’t have the chance to be negligent again. She still will have the chance to mess up again, and if she does, the dog could very well take a life of a child.”