In this case here in North Carolina, the owners of the dog were charged contributing to the deliquency of a minor for letting the child (their niece) get too close to the chained pit bull. As I said earlier, it's amazing how many of the pit bull attacks here in NC happen at the home of friends and relatives. And, as is the case here, most dogs are not up to date on their rabies shots.
These idiots probably own guns, too!
Aunt, Boyfriend Charged in Dog Attack
April 25, 2005,ROANOKE RAPIDS, NORTH CAROLINA - The owners of a pit bull have been arrested in the near-fatal dog bite of a young girl. The couple - the victim's aunt and her boyfriend - are accused of lying to police when they claimed another animal had attacked the 2-1/2 -year-old child.
Skylar Finney remained in stable condition this morning at the University of North Carolina Medical Center, according to her grandmother, Cheryl Livesay.
Police Chief Greg Lawson said a break in the case came about 5 p.m.,Thursday when police learned the dog that bit Skylar was a male pit bull chained in the back yard of Daniel Lewter's house at 714 Miles Street and was not a stray.
Lewter, 19, and Christine Livesay, the 19-year-old aunt of the child, were both charged with one count each of child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor child, delaying and obstructing law enforcement officers, filing a false police report and having a vicious animal.
Livesay was arrested at the Miles Street residence she and Lewter share around 7:43 p.m. Lewter turned himself in to police later that evening.
Lawson declined to elaborate on whether the break in the case came from admission by family members or through investigation. He did credit Detectives James Ayers and Roy Ball and Sgt. Ozzie Morgan for "doing an outstanding job" on the case.
This morning, the grandmother told the Daily Herald, "The family did not know they were lying. We were devastated. They (Lewter and Christine Livesay) came (to the hospital) and stood at the foot of her bed. They knew her condition. They knew she faced the rabies shots. They never said a word... I don't know how anybody can do that."
The discovery of the truth in the case ends nearly 100 hours of investigation and officers responding to calls of a stray brownish-tan dog resembling a lab roaming around the neighborhood near Miles Street and other areas of the city.
Lawson said police had suspicions soon after the girl was bitten Monday. "We had our suspicions confirmed and validated there was a pit bull in the yard." Cheryl Livesay said the family was also suspicious. "But all we had to go with was what they told us ... We had a gut instinct but we couldn't prove it."
The contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge was filed because the child was allowed to get too close to a dangerous animal, Lawson said this morning.
The dog was seized and quarantined at the Halifax County Animal Shelter and pending further investigation, police will seek a court order to have the dog killed.
Halifax County Chief Animal Control Officer Robert Richardson said an investigation was going to be done to determine whether the animal had rabies shots, but he said he didn't think it did have the shots.
Lawson could not say what prompted the attack. "Our opinion is the child was allowed to get too close to this animal. It was really disturbing to our officers."
Skylar was severely bitten on the head and face, according to police reports. The little girl is still undergoing rabies treatment at the hospital. She has also received numerous other medical procedures including reconstructive and oral surgery for damage to her head and face, according to police.
Cheryl Livesay said the doctors decided to leave the child's breathing tube in place for at least one more day due to fluid in her lungs. "The nurses and the doctors say she is a fighter ... she is a strong little girl," she added.
Lawson said while the police department was misdirected, "The outpouring from the community to help was important. It helped also with the case."
Lewter and Livesay were each released on $2,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court May 20.
The family is accepting funds to help with the Skylar's medical care through a special trust fund established at Roanoke Valley Saving Bank. Cheryl Livesay stressed none of the money donated to Skylar would be used to benefit either Lewter or Christine Livesay.