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  • Last modified 150 days ago (July 19, 2018)

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No charges filed after dog bites second child

Staff writer

A dog already deemed a nuisance animal because it had bitten another child was whisked away from a Florence ballpark by its owner after it bit an 8-year-old Marion boy Sunday.

But after stopping the owner’s car, sheriff’s deputies failed to check the animal’s history before deciding is wasn’t vicious and issued no tickets.

Brent Cleeton, father of 8-year-old Hagen Gardner, said the incident happened at a softball game in Florence. The dog and its owner were standing down from the ballfield with the dog on a leash.

Walking past, Hagen asked whether he could pet the dog, reaching out his hand. The owner said no, and Hagen pulled back his hand.

“The dog jumped up and bit him,” Cleeton said.

Hagen had to be taken to St. Luke Hospital.

“He’s got some pretty good bruising and two teeth punctures that took two stitches each,” Cleeton said.

The dog’s owner, Danielle Elise Crowdis, left the ballpark as soon as the dog bit Hagen, Cleeton said.

The sheriff’s office was notified, and Crowdis was pulled over by a deputy.

“The owner of the dog did leave and was subsequently stopped, and the dog’s records have been checked,” Sheriff Rob Craft said. “His shots were up to date.”

But Salina authorities, where Crowdis lives, told the Record the owner already had appeared in court there after the dog bit a 13-year-old.

Craft said the owner was not cited for the incident in Florence.

“No citations can be issued,” he said. “One bite does not make a vicious dog.”

Deputies allowed the dog to go home with Crowdis.

But he admitted deputies did not check whether the dog had previously bitten anyone.

“Marion County Health Department will follow up after 10 days,” Craft said. “If the dog shows no sign of illness, it is no longer quarantined.”

Cleeton contacted Salina Animal Services and learned that Crowdis faced charges after the dog bit a 13-year-old there.

Vanessa Cowie, animal services manager for city of Salina, said her office investigated a Feb. 25 bite by Crowdis’s dog, Shooter. Crowdis is also known as Danielle Worcester and Danielle Davis.

“We submitted charges for failing to have a rabies vaccination,” Cowie said. “That was dismissed. We also charged for not having a city license, and that was dismissed. We cited for nuisance animal that had attacked or injured a person, and that’s the one she was found guilty of.”

The case was resolved May 17 in Salina municipal court. Crowdis was fined $178 for having a nuisance animal.

“There is a state requirement that the dog has to be quarantined for 10 days,” Cowie said. “It must be seen by a vet after the bite and seen again after the quarantine. Even if it’s the first bite, in Salina we would at least issue a citation. Even if it was not a vicious dog, that gives the victim family the opportunity to seek reimbursement for medical expenses.”

Cowie said that after Cleeton called her, she phoned the Marion County sheriff’s office and offered to help with the quarantine of the dog.

She said she was told the case was Marion County’s jurisdiction and no help was needed.

“If there’s anything else we can do, we will be happy to help,” Cowie said.

Her department cannot take action on its own.

“We don’t have any jurisdiction over that bite,” Cowie said.

County Attorney Courtney Boehm said permitting an animal determined to be dangerous to be at large is a Class B misdemeanor.

Boehm said she had not been contacted by the sheriff’s department in relation to the dog bite.

“Of course, we have to depend on them to do our investigation because we don’t have an investigator,” Boehm said.

Craft, who could not be reached for comment after the newspaper learned of the first bite, earlier offered advice to the public:

“Don’t pet strange dogs. If it’s not your dog, don’t pet them. If your dog is a cranky dog, don’t bring your dog to events where there are a lot of people.”

Health department administrator Deidre Serene did not return a call from the newspaper Tuesday.

Last modified July 19, 2018

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