UPDATE 8/4/11 @ 11:05 a.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio, (WSAZ) -- Two days after his three pit bulls attacked a toddler in his home, the owner of the dogs is behind bars charged with two felonies.
Doug Bowling lives on Campbell St. in downtown Portsmouth. But, he's now in the Scioto County Jail facing charges of child endangering and failure to confine a vicious animal.
The Scioto County Animal Control Officer said on Tuesday, Bowling's three dogs attacked his 14-month-old granddaughter leaving bites and bruises on her from head to toe. Kahtauna Cook was taken to a Columbus children's hospital where she underwent reconstructive surgery.
Bowling was arrested this morning and is in jail on a $20,000 bond.
He's due back in court next Friday.
It happened in her grandparents' home in Portsmouth where she was staying with her mother. But, what was a peaceful living situation, suddenly turned into a biting frenzy that left a toddler bloodied from head to toe.
“She always kept them locked up," said Janet Jones, Kahtauna’s mother. "When she let them out to go to the bathroom they saw her.”
And what Janet Jones describes happened next to her 14-month-old little girl is chilling.
“The dog jumped over and grabbed her. They did it quick, he grabbed her, jerked her back over, and that's when they all just started attacking. The other two dogs started grabbing her arms. When I reached down to grab her, the other dog grabbed me,” Jones said.
Now, Jones is just thankful that she and her daughter, Kahtauna, are alive. They were staying with relatives on Campbell Street in Portsmouth when the attack happened.
“It’s the worst bite I’ve ever seen,” Wendy Payton said.
Payton has been the Animal Control Officer with the Scioto County Health Department for 13 years. She was one of the first to respond to the scene before heading to the hospital. She took photos of Kahtauna just after the attack, showing the little girl bitten from top to bottom -- leaving extensive injuries.
Payton says the three dogs, she calls pit bull mixes, have been quarantined at the Scioto County Dog Shelter. The owner, Douglas Bowling, faces multiple charges including owning vicious animals. Wendy says once the owner's rights are terminated, the dogs will be destroyed. WSAZ.com tried to talk with Bowling, but we were unable get in touch with him.
“Always protect your children, and any dog will bite and always be so very careful when you are around a strange dog you do not know,” Payton said.
Kahtauna is doing well and is expected to return home from the Columbus hospital by Wednesday evening.
WSAZ.com talked with a neighbor of Bowling's who said one of the dogs just had several puppies. He said Bowling told him the baby was playing with one of those puppies, causing it to yelp. He believes that provoked the dogs to attack.
Bowling will be in court to answer to charges later this week.
Two of the three dogs that attacked 14-month-old Kahtauna Cook are now quarantined at the Scioto County Animal Shelter for ten days.
Once the owner's rights are terminated, the dogs will be destroyed.
The owner, Douglas Bowling, currently faces charges for having a vicious animal, but more charges are pending. He's due in court on Thursday.
"I've been an Animal Control Officer for 13 years and this is the worst dog bite case I've ever seen," said Wendy Payton, Animal Control Officer with the Portsmouth City Health Dept.
Cook was attacked by three pit bulls while at her grandparents' home. She suffered multiple severe bites from head to toe. She's at a hospital in Columbus where she underwent reconstructive surgery.
The animal control officer told WSAZ.com that neighbors say the dogs have had a history of biting in the past, but no incidents were ever reported.
WSAZ.com caught up with the little girl and her family and we will share their story tonight on WSAZ.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updates.
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