MANSFIELD (CBS) – The fate of a pointer basset hound mix rests with Selectmen in Mansfield. They’ll decide whether the family pet will live or die after it attacked a six-year-old on January 3rd.
“I came in and Milo was on the couch and then on top of the couch and then Christian plopped down in front of his face,” 15-year-old Heather Bailey said. That’s when Milo, the dog her family rescued, bit Christian Miller, the next door neighbor Heather was babysitting. “I feel so bad,” she said. “I feel responsible and like I betrayed him.” She says her dog had never shown such aggression and hasn’t since. “He’s loving. He’s affectionate,” she said.
Christian had to get hundreds of stitches. His mother says he was in surgery for two hours. “He told me ‘mommy Milo bit my face and wouldn’t let go,” said Dawn Hebert-Miller. She says her son has had nightmares about what happened. “For the rest of his life he is going to be scarred and he’s got emotional scarring as well he’s afraid of our dogs he puts pillows between himself. He doesn’t want to pet them,” she said. He was also bitten on his leg, and his mother says it could take a year to know the true extent of the damage.
Hebert-Miller filed a complaint with the town of Mansfield which led to Wednesday night’s hearing. “It is not that I’m trying to be hurtful. I feel awful that any of this has happened to any of us I just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.” She would not say what she hopes is the outcome or whether she thinks her neighbor’s dog needs to be put down.
“It is just hard on top of the guilt for Christian, I’m going to have to face the guilt of the death of my dog,” Heather Bailey said. “And I just feel really responsible and that will be on me the rest of my life.” Bailey is deeply regretful and says her family whatever necessary to keep Milo alive. “We’ll build a fence. We’ll get like training, like behavior training,” she said. “We’ll do anything. I just don’t think killing Milo will bring any good to this situation.”
The Board of Selectman will hear from both sides at 8pm Wednesday at Town Hall. Their decision could range from ordering Milo be muzzled or restrained when he leaves the Bailey’s house, all the way to having him euthanized. Whatever the decision, the Bailey family will have 10 days to appeal.