Baby seriously injured by dog in Carbondale |

Baby seriously injured by dog in Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” A 6-month-old baby girl was seriously injured by a dog at a Carbondale residence Saturday, May 17, around 10 p.m., police said.

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said the incident occurred as a Carbondale couple were entertaining a number of guests at their home on Main Street. Until the incident, the dog, an English bull terrier, was circulating among the guests, and showed no aggressive tendencies, Schilling said. It did not have a history of biting or aggressiveness.

The baby, which was lying in a carrier, was in the care of one of the guests, who set the carrier on the floor while she put away some dishes. When she turned back to the baby, she saw that the terrier was “chewing” on the baby. Schilling said that the dog did not growl or make other aggressive sounds, and the baby did not cry audibly.

The baby was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Denver for surgery to treat puncture wounds to the head. Schilling said the injuries are not life-threatening.

“As far as we know, now, the kid’s doing OK,” Schilling said.

The owner of the dog, Hendrick Johannes Venter, of Aspen, was issued a citation for unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog, a misdemeanor charge, Schilling said. The dog is in quarantine for 10 days to be tested for rabies and other possible problems.

That’s the standard period of confinement for a rabies check, Schilling said. The dog’s tags didn’t indicate that its rabies shots were up to date, he said.

The case will be tried in Garfield County Court, Schilling said, rather than municipal court, because county court has more latitude in ordering medical reimbursement.

Because the dog was indoors and not technically at large, no other charges were applicable, nor would they be under a new dog ordinance being crafted by the town of Carbondale.

“The new dog ordinance they’re working on wouldn’t have changed anything,” Schilling said.

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