AR-News: (US DE) Dog owner charged with felony

Animalara2003 at Animalara2003 at
Thu Apr 22 09:58:44 EDT 2004

The Newsw Journal

Pit bull mauled 7-year-old girl in Elmhurst; animal euthanized 
Staff reporter
A Richardson Park woman whose pit bull mauled a 7-year-old girl earlier this 
month was charged Wednesday under a new state law for maintaining a dangerous 
SPCA director John E. Caldwell said it is the first time anyone in the state 
has been charged with the felony statute enacted two years ago after a pit 
bull killed 2-year-old Zachary Grant in the back yard of his grandfather's Fox 
Point home. The charge applies when a dangerous animal kills or injures a person 
or animal in an unprovoked or unjustifiable attack. 
Melissa L. Carter, 31, of the 500 block of Eureka Ave., was released on 
$5,000 unsecured bail Wednesday after being charged with two counts of dog running 
at-large and biting, and the felony charge. 
SPCA animal control Officer Peter Corcoran determined that Carter's 2 1/2 
-year-old pit bull ran after a group of children April 9 in the 100 block of Lake 
Street in Elmhurst and bit three people, including a 7-year-old girl who 
suffered serious leg wounds, a 10-year-old boy and a 38-year-old woman who ran to 
the girl's rescue, Caldwell said. 
"When the dog was running at large, he bit a 10-year-old boy minutes after he 
attacked the girl," Caldwell said. 
According to court records, the 38-year-old woman saw the tan-and-white pit 
bull running unsupervised in the 100 block of Matthes Avenue nearly two hours 
before the attack. She told her daughter and her friend to play inside the 
fenced yard. About 1:45 p.m., she heard the children screaming in the yard. When 
she looked out the kitchen window, she saw the kids scattering and ran outside 
to find the dog grasping the 7-year-old's upper inner thigh and flailing her 
around "like a rag doll." 

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"The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those 
rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of 
tyranny. The question is not can they REASON, nor can they TALK, but can they 
Jeremy Bentham 1748 - 1832 
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