Mother in Court After Pit Bull Puppy Gnawed Off Child's Foot - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/5/07-Toledo, Ohio

Mother in Court After Pit Bull Puppy Gnawed Off Child's Foot

The boy's foot was injured at this house on St. John Ave. The boy's foot was injured at this house on St. John Ave.

Story and Video Provided By: WTOL Raycom Media

 A Toledo mother will face a judge Monday morning to answer charges that she endangered her child by having a pit bull puppy in the house.  Police say that puppy gnawed off part of the foot of one of her children.

Martina Jennings, 23, showed up Friday at Toledo Hospital with her son, claiming the pit bull puppy had chewed off the boy's right foot overnight.  "She was [awakened] by another child -- an 8-year-old child, I guess -- and that child said the foot was bloody," Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon said in a story broadcast by WTOL on Friday night. "She went in there and couldn't find the foot and there was blood on the dog's mouth and chest."

Skeldon questioned whether the puppy's teeth would have been strong enough to have caused the injury.  "And if he did do it, it had to take him a long time, so who's checking on this kid?" Skeldon added.

Skeldon says the boy suffers from spina bifida and has no feeling below the waist so he didn't know the dog was biting him.

The dog warden's office destroyed the pit bull.  They sent its head to Columbus for a rabies test.  Police continue to investigate.

Jennings' other children, aged 2 and 8, are with a relative, but still in temporary custody of Lucas County Children's Services, said Dean Sparks, the agency's executive director.  "If you've got little kids, don't have vicious dogs," Sparks said.

Skeldon says pit bulls continue to be a problem in Toledo.  The city has a vicious dog ordinance that specifically mentions pit bulls:

Harboring a Dangerous or Vicious Dog

No person, organization or corporation shall keep, harbor or provide sustenance for more than once vicious dog. Municipal Code 505.14 (Limitations On Vicious Dogs).

Your dog is described as dangerous if, without provocation, it has chased or approached a person in threatening manner. Or if the dog has attempted to bite or endanger some person either:

A.   While the dog is off the owner's property and not under reasonable control of some person.

-or-

B.   While the dog is not physically restrained, or confined in a locked pen with a top, locked in fenced yard, or other lock enclosure which has a top.

Your dog is described as vicious if, without provocation, it has killed or seriously injured a person, caused injury (less than serious or killing) to any person, has killed another dog, or belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog. 

Source: City of Toledo Web Site

Skeldon says his officers seized almost 1,000 pit bulls in 2006 alone.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Updated by AEB

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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