Child, 5, bit in face by pit bull in Livermore Falls

Posted May 17, 2011, at 5:54 p.m.
Last modified May 18, 2011, at 10:38 a.m.

LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — A local woman was issued a summons on a civil violation of being a keeper of a dangerous dog on Saturday night after a pit bull bit the face of a 5-year-old child visiting her two days earlier, Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said Monday.

Animal Control Officer Wayne Atwood , accompanied by police Lt. Thomas Gould, issued the summons to Heather Pike, 31, of Livermore Falls, Steward said.

Pike said that Skidder, a 1-year-old pit bull, was tied up outside on his run on Thursday when her niece went over and struck him with a book. She was bitten once, Pike said. The child’s mother was also at Pike’s residence.

Pike said she tells all the people that come to her house not to go near the dogs, not that they’re vicious, but because they could be tripped by the dogs. She also has a German shepherd and is taking care of a beagle for someone else.

They are lap dogs, she said.

“I was utterly shocked this would happen,” Pike said. “They’re not vicious.”

Atwood said he was alerted to the situation after he received a call from emergency room staff at a Lewiston hospital. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the state Animal Welfare Program also are involved in the case, he said.

Skidder, the dog, will be quarantined until May 22 at the Kennebec Humane Society in Augusta, Atwood said. The child was bitten near the mouth, he said.

On Saturday, Atwood said he and Gould went over to the residence to see if Pike would voluntarily surrender the dog to the shelter. The answer was “no,” Atwood said, and he issued Pike, who is the registered owner of the dog, a summons on the civil violation.

Gould contacted the District Attorney’s Office to find out what else could be done, Atwood said.

Gould wrote up an order that told Pike that police and Atwood would begin checking Pike’s property on May 23, the day the dog is released, to make sure the dog is muzzled, restrained or confined, Atwood said.

If any violations are noticed, they will immediately begin contacting the court to have an ex-parte order issued that would let the dog be taken from the owners until a court hearing, Atwood said.

Pike is scheduled to appear on the dangerous dog violation on Tuesday, June 15 at Lewiston District Court, he said.

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