Monday, January 13, 2020

Dayton infant killed inside the family home after being attacked by the family pit bull. Has breed neutral law made Ohio safer?

Dayton Ohio
Montgomery County

Four-month-old McKenzie Terwill died after being attacked by the family pit bull inside the family home.  The pit bull has been quarantined and the attack is under investigation.  McKenzie is the eighteenth Ohio resident killed by dogs since the Ohio Legislature allowed Best Friends Animal Society to re-write state law.  Best Friends promised that their new breed-neutral law would make Ohio communities safer.  Is anyone shocked that the promise has proven false? 

Nope.  In the decade prior to the change in state law Ohio had 5 dog bite-related fatalities.  In the less-than-eight-years since the passage of HB 14 Ohio has seen eighteen fatal dog attacks. Stunning.

Our thanks to former Representative Barbara Sears and Ledy Vankavage's legal department at Best  Friends Animal Society for bringing this disaster to Ohio.

9-13 Police lights_255658

Update - A neighbor reported that dogs at the home where the infant died were "mean, vicious, barkers, chasers" and caused people to avoid the location.  The investigation is being handled by the Special Victims Unit.

Update - Per the Dayton Daily News, "The Dayton Daily News today obtained an affidavit written by Dayton Police Detective Karina Sulek seeking permission to search and collect evidence in the case.  Sulek wrote when officers arrived at the home on the 100 block of Vermont Avenue on Jan. 9, the baby’s father, Parker Terwell, was on the front porch with the baby’s remains.

“Mr. Terwell said he just arrived home, and his girlfriend and mother of the child, Mary Shoup, was asleep on the living room sofa,” the affidavit in the search warrant requests says. “Mr. Terwell informed officers that Ms. Shoup is on prescription medication.”

Photo of house where McKenzie Terwell was killed by dog next to photo of Beware of Dog sign in its window

In another update, this from WDTN News "The search warrant states that the prescriptions that were found have side effects such as drowsiness, cognitive dysfunction, and insomnia. The father also told officers that he threw out a bong before they arrived."