Friday, December 31, 2010

Family dog chews off toes of Illinois girl with spina bifida

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

CRETE TOWNSHIP, Ill. — Authorities investigated a “bizarre” incident last week in which a 10-year-old girl’s toes were chewed off by the family dog while she slept.

Around 7 a.m. Dec. 22, the girl yelled her foot was bleeding when her mother came into her room to wake her up for school. The woman saw all of the toes were missing from the girl’s left foot and administered first aid while her husband called paramedics.

Crete firefighters and Will County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and the victim was transported to St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Ind. According to reports, the girl has spina bifida which “causes numbness in her lower extremities (and) has basically no sensation beneath the waist.”

She has also had a sore on her left foot for more than a year that will not heal, despite being examined by several doctors and specialists.

The girl’s father told police nothing was out of the ordinary and the girl’s foot was intact when she’d gone to bed around 9 p.m. the night before. The family’s 2-year-old black Labrador retriever has always slept at the foot of the girl’s bed.

Crete firefighters had the 44-year-old man check the dog’s mouth and muzzle, but did not find any blood.

The family said the dog has never been aggressive toward the girl or other people and sheriff’s deputies noted the animal “showed no aggression” toward them while they were in the house.

A Will County Animal Control Center officer examined the dog. On Tuesday, they reported the animal had been brought in for a 10-day observation since records showed it was overdue for vaccinations.

Animal control “determined that the dog was acting true to its nature by removing the wound from the victim as it would in the wild” and the incident was not a violation.

The dog was described as nonthreatening and will not be put down.

The Department of Children and Family Services was also notified to document the incident, but told sheriff’s police they did not plan to investigate.