The mother of an 8-year-old McCleary girl who was attacked by a dog a week ago said she thinks the dog should be euthanized for the safety of the community.
“Honesty, I think it should probably be put down. I hate to say it. For me, killing something is harsh. But I would not want to see this (attack) happen to anyone else,” Nina Potts, 28, said.
Potts said she came to her conclusion reluctantly. “I feel really bad about saying that. I know that an animal is a part of your family.”
On the morning of Jan. 18, Alize Jones walked from her Heslep Lane house, down the street to gather an 8-year-old friend for her birthday party. Alize had just turned 8. According to the girl and her 12 year old cousin, when Alize touched the latch on the fence gate to the dog owners’ property, the dog “Bo,” a 2-year-old American bulldog, also known as a “pitbull,” lunged away from its owner toward the girl.
Alize said the attack happened so fast, she barely had time to be afraid. “I was about to open the gate and he jumped.” she said. Alize and her cousin said the dog stuck its head through a hole in the fence to bite the girl on the leg and then leaped up the height of the fence, leaned over and bit the girl on her ear and the back of her neck. The girl was left with the fleshy part of her ear dangling from the cartilage and a large, single bite mark covering the back side of both her legs. There are four puncture wounds clearly visible on her legs and a clear bruised impression from the dog’s mouth.
Potts said she was horrified when she saw the bite marks, after one of the owners of the dog drove Alize back to her home. “My daughter got out holding the rag on her ear, she took it off and I saw it, her ear dangling there.”
Potts immediately took her daughter to Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary, but she was told she needed a surgical specialist who could reconstruct Alize’s ear. A doctor was found and the operation took place the same day at Providence St. Peter’s Hospital. Alize’s stitches were removed Thursday
When initially reached for comment about the story, the owner of the dog, Wesley Harp, referred The Daily World to an animal control report about the incident. Because the investigation into the incident is still pending, the report in question is still closed under state law. Several phone messages were left for the Harps, but they did not respond.
This is not the first incident in which the dog has been involved. On April 10, 2012, the dog was cited for being “potentially dangerous” after, according to the report, the dog went through a hole in a fence to bite another dog.
Officials from the Grays Harbor County Sheriffs Office said the adjudication of this case could take a few months. If the dog is declared dangerous, a judge could order that it be destroyed. But according to state law there is an expensive and extensive protocol for a citizen to receive a permit to own a dog deemed dangerous. The process includes building certain enclosures on the dog-owner’s property and maintaining a surety bond to pay for any damages the animal incurs.