Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boy attacked by family dog improving; no charges filed

By Denise Wilson, Middletown Journal

A 1-year-old boy who was mauled by his family’s dog Tuesday, Aug. 10, remains hospitalized at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center after undergoing surgery.Trenton Police Chief Tim Traud said the boy suffered severe facial and head injuries about 1:15 p.m. at his home in the 800 block of Barrington Court.
Traud said he may be released from the hospital Thursday, Aug. 12. He was flown there by medical helicopter Tuesday.
Officials said the home belongs to Steve and Melissa Durbin, who have three dogs, including the female pitbull-boxer mix that made the attack. It also bit one of the other dogs and Melissa Durbin, police said.
In an online community forum at www.trentontalk.com, users sying they live on Barrington Court and other area residents demonstrated remorse for the child and outrage toward the dog owners. It is believed Melissa Durbin hid her dog inside the home from the Butler County dog warden, who combed the neighborhood looking for the dog after the incident.
A notice from the Butler County dog warden was posted to the Durbins’ front door Tuesday, and the dog was not in county custody, officials said.
Neighbors said the Durbins told officers the dog was loose, when it was actually inside the home. Julie Holmes, Butler County’s chief dog warden, said the incident remains under investigation. She said she planned to talk to the Durbins Wednesday about the incident.
Meg Stephenson, the director of the Animal Friends Humane Society, said the agency also does not have custody of the dog.
Under the City of Trenton’s dangerous and vicious dog ordinance, a pitbull mix is considered a “vicious dog,” requiring owners to have up to $100,000 in liability coverage for their pet.
Traud said he did not believe the dog was licensed, and that there were previous calls to the home. No charges have been filed in the case.

Update August 18, 2010 1:29pm - The following article is by Denise Wilson, The Oxford Press:

Dog that attacking boy euthanized; owners in court Thursday

Charges have filed against a couple whose 1-year-old boy who was mauled last week by the family’s pit bull-boxer mix.
Melissa Fields and Steve Durbin, co-owners of the dog, are scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, in Middletown Municipal Court on charges of failure to confine a vicious dog, failure to license the dog and failure to obtain liability insurance, said Julie Holmes, Butler County’s Chief Dog Warden.
Steve Durbin voluntarily turned the dog over to the Animal Friends Humane Society last week. The dog was then euthanized, Holmes said.
The boy, who suffered severe facial and head injuries, after being attacked by the dog Tuesday, Aug. 10, at their home in the 800 block of Barrington Court, has been released from Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she said.

Update August 27, 2010 9:39am - The following article is by Denise Wilson, Journal News:

Hearing delayed for mother of boy attacked by a dog

The mother charged after her 1-year-old boy was mauled recently in Trenton by a pit bull-boxer mix was given more time to meet with an attorney.
A hearing for Melissa Fields, of the 800 block of Barrington Court in Trenton, was continued Friday, Aug. 27, in Middletown Municipal Court by acting Judge Larry Moore until Sept. 3, so she can meet with an attorney.
“I have a meeting with one today. It’s a lot harder to get one than I thought. I never had to do it,” Fields told the judge.
Fields and her boyfriend, Steve Durbin, both are charged with failure to confine a vicious dog, failure to license the dog and failure to obtain liability insurance because they are co-owners of the female dog that attacked their son on Aug. 10.
The boy, who suffered severe facial and head injuries in the attack, was treated and released from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Durban’s pretrial is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Sept. 15.

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