The mother of an 11-year-old girl in Glouster is calling for accountability after a neighbor’s dog bit the young girl, seriously injuring her.
Stacie Robison, 31, said that her daughter, Miley McKee, 11, was walking her 1-year-old sister, Claire, on their home street in Glouster on 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, she was bitten by the dog. The dog then attempted to drag McKee down a nearby hillside.
McKee’s two friends – Glouster residents Presley and Peyton Nelson – pulled her away from the dog (which is a pit bull terrier mix), and they got away to safety, Robison said. The dog was not on a leash.
“She (Mckee) has seven puncture wounds on her leg, and ended up with nine stitches (after going to the hospital),” Robison explained.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith – who is considered the county dog warden after the Sheriff’s Office took over that agency earlier this year – said Thursday that the Athens City-County Health Department is responsible for ensuring a quarantine of the dog for 10 days, which is required by Ohio law. He confirmed the Health Department has done so, with the dog quarantined at the owners’ home on Spring Street in Glouster.
Meanwhile, Sheriff’s Det. Ryan Gillette – who is responsible for day-to-day operations of the county Dog Shelter – said Thursday that he and the Sheriff’s Office are still investigating the incident, which could result in charges against the dog's owner.
Gillette confirmed that the Glouster Police Department previously has 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 in early August last year.
Robison said she has spoken with her neighbors about the dog, some of whom had their own complaints about the unrestrained animal’s aggressive behavior.
She said that despite the dog being on quarantine, she’s seen the neighbor who owns the dog leave the door to the home open in the days since the attack, and is worried about the dog’s aggressive behavior if the dog is ever set free again. Still, she said she doesn’t want the dog to be euthanized.
She also said she's upset that nobody with the Sheriff’s Office had come to interview her or take photos of her daughter’s injuries as of Thursday morning.
Smith said Thursday that he planned to ask Gilette to prepare paperwork to go before a judge to see whether the dog can be declared a “nuisance or dangerous animal" (see some background info here). He said that if the dog is declared as such, it would trigger a variety of requirements for the owners of the dog, including that they keep it confined, and have insurance to cover the dog’s behavior, or otherwise be held in contempt of court.
“I just am concerned about this lady and her child having to be afraid to walk down their own street; that shouldn’t happen,” Smith said. “...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 still said that 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.”