Owner: Dog that mauled child not vicious

For the gilbert times

VARNEY — The owner of a dog that mauled a toddler last week said she wants people to know her dogs are not vicious.

Patricia Huff of Varney said the incident was unfortunate, but the Rottweiler dog had been friendly with the two-year-old boy in the days leading up to the biting incident.

Sunday night, Mingo County 911 received a call at 7:40 p.m. from a woman who said she was house sitting for her sister and a Rottweiler dog had attacked her two-year-old son.

The woman told 911 that the baby was bleeding from its ear and head and that she was unsure of the baby’s exact wounds before hanging the phone up.

STAT Ambulance arrived on the scene and transported the child to the South Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital in South Williamson, Ky.

Huff said she wants everyone to know that she does not raise vicious dogs.

“The dog is not vicious,” Huff said. “It was just an unfortunate accident. I don’t know if he hurt the dog or whether he scared her, but she’s 8-years-old and has never bitten anyone before.”

According to Huff, the baby’s injury was not severe enough to require stitches despite the fact that the toddler was hospitalized from Sunday night until Wednesday.

“He (the child) is fine and got out of the hospital (Wednesday),” Huff said in a Thursday phone interview.

The Rottweiler was not taken by the authorities and has been allowed to stay with Huff.

“I faxed, or rather the vet did, a list of medical records over to the county,” Huff said. “They said that since the dog was on my property, there was nothing they could do.”

The child’s mother, who is Huff’s sister, has not filed charges against Huff.

Huff said she was the owner of seven dogs, four of which are Rottweilers. When the animals are outside, she keeps them caged.

“My sister let her out by accident and that’s when she bit the baby,” Huff said.

Huff said there has never been a problem with having the dog in the presence of the baby before the incident.

“In fact, she swam with the baby a few weeks ago,” Huff said. “It was just an unfortunate accident. I couldn’t be anymore sorrier that it happened. I’m just glad it wasn’t any worse than it was.”

The most recent official dog bite survey, conducted more than a decade ago, determined there were 4.7 million dog bite victims annually in the USA. A more recent study showed that 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites. In 2010 there were 34 fatal dog attacks in the USA. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with over $300 million paid by homeowners insurance. Information obtained from www.dogbitelaw.com