Young child recovering after pit bull attack
By: CJ Cassidy
FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. - How would you feel if you heard your child had been attacked by a pit bull and you couldn't see how seriously she was hurt?
That's what a Fredericktown man says he's going through right now, after his in-law's pit bull bit his three year old daughter Tuesday night. "She was attacked in the face and had bite marks on her arms and stomach," Jason Pickert says.
Pickert says not being at his daughter's side after hearing she'd been attacked by a pit bull was agonizing. Pickert's separated from his wife, and so the couple's children were with her at their great grandparents where the attack took place.
It turns out, the children's mother accidentally let the dog out of a locked room. "The child went in there got a hold of the dog's ear, and the dog did snap the little girl," James Halpin, the child's great grandfather says.
Halpin and his wife say the toddler's injuries were not serious. "After they went up there, the doctors put a few stitches on the side of her mouth. There was no plastic surgery," James Halpin says.
The Halpins adopted Molly - the pit bull - nine years ago. "If I thought this would've happened, I would have euthanized her. My great grand baby's number one - the dog's second. We're very sorry our great grand baby's going through this," Carol Halpin adds.
Still, a city ordinance - in place since 1987- bans pit bulls in Fredericktown, and police say they heard about Molly for the first time - after the attack. "The dog was put down by a local vet, and will be examined for any diseases such as rabies," Chief Keith deSpain says.
The Halpins say they never knew about the ordinance; they thought it only applied to vicious dogs - not pit bulls in general. "My wife's dog was not a vicious dog," James says.
Still, Jason Pickert claims Molly bit his son last year -and now he wants his side heard in court. "They should have known better than to bring my daughter up there around it," he says.
The Halpins say they have no problem taking the issue before a judge, and say they're trying to get an order of protection against Pickert to protect the children and their mother from him. So it could take a while before the family feud itself gets resolved.
In the meantime, Fredericktown police want to know if anyone else in town owns a pit bull. They ask you call them if you have any information.