UPDATE: 8-Year-Old Recovering from Pit Bull Attack; Dog Owner Charged

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 5/14/13
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The owner of dog that investigators say attacked an 8-year-old girl has been charged in the incident.

Donnie Castle, 36, of Nippa, Ky., is charged with misdemeanor harboring a vicious animal.

Investigators say 8-year-old Arissa Kestner was at her grandparent’s house, playing outside, when the dog broke off its chain and attacked her.

Arissa had a bite on her side that measured 11 centimeters and another on one of her legs, along with several puncture wounds.

According to the criminal complaint, when Castle was told of the incident he “showed not remorse” and said that “any kids that come around are free game” and “that’s what the dog was there for, ie, protect us.”

The compliant also indicates the dog attacked another child earlier this year.

Castle pleaded not guilty to the charge Monday in Johnson County District Court. His preliminary hearing is set for later this month.

During an interview with our sister station, WYMT, Castle’s wife apologized for the incident.

If convicted Castle could face up to 90 days in jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/3/13
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- One family says it was a vicious attack that could have been prevented, but the other says it was an accident and they are sorry.

Eight-year-old Arissa Kestner says she does not remember much of last Friday afternoon.

"What were you doing outside?," we asked. "Playing," she replied.

But she does remember a few things.

"I was talking to Jocelyn, and it bit me," she said.

She is talking about her grandparents' neighbor's dog. Sheriff’s Deputies say Arissa was playing outside after school when the dog broke off its chain and attacked her leaving her with serious wounds.

The dog's owners say they got the dog when it was just a puppy, and they say it has been raised with their five small children. So they say they never expected anything like this to happen.

"He never did show any signs of being mean. I don't know what happened. I don't know what happened that day."

Investigators say records show the dog has attacked before.

"He had bit before but he didn't puncture or didn't have any, it was a bruising and scratching and stuff. So I thought well is she ok? Is it alright? It couldn't be that bad because he's never done that, and when he showed me the pictures I just couldn't believe it was my dog," said the owner. "I'm very very sorry for Arissa. I really am because I know she'll be scared the rest of her life, and it's because of my animal."

Both families agree it is a day they never want to relive.

Investigators plan to charge the dog’s owner with misdemeanor harboring a vicious animal. The owners say they plan to have the dog euthanized.



UPDATE 5/2/13
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Loretta Kestner said it is a phone call no parent ever wants to receive.

"I had no idea they had a vicious dog out there," said Kestner.

On Friday afternoon she got the call that her 8-year-old daughter Arissa had been attacked by a pit bull.

The little girl's grandparents said every day they pick her up from school. They said on Friday they did just that, and she was playing in the yard when the the pit bull came running around the neighbor's house and attacked her.

"He said when he first looked at the bite he didn't know it was as bad as it was, and he took a second look because she was crying hysterically," said Kestner.

Arissa had a bite on her side that measured 11 centimeters and another on one of her legs along with several puncture wounds.

Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said this is not the first time they have had problems with the dog.

"Occasionally we'll get a call from a neighbor, 'It's loose. it's up here chasing our kids. We're afraid it's going to hurt somebody.' And apparently Friday it did," said Sheriff Price.

Price said they are taking the case to the County Attorney.

The owner could face a misdemeanor charge of harboring a vicious animal. If convicted he could face up to 90 days in jail.

Animal control picked up the dog. It is being tested for rabies.

Arissa's family said she is doing better.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/30/13
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A young girl is recovering after the Johnson County Sheriff's Office says she was attacked by a pit bull.

Deputy Sheriff Tim Clark tells WSAZ.com that the 8-year-old was playing in the Nippa Community of Johnson County on Friday afternoon, after she got out of school.

He says a pit bull that was tied up at a home about 70 feet away from where she was playing broke its chain, ran toward her and attacked her.

Clark tells WSAZ.com there is no evidence at this time to show that the girl provoked the dog.

He says she was bitten on the leg and on her side, injuries Clark described as brutal and graphic.

The girl was taken to the hospital and is now recovering at home.

Clark tells WSAZ.com this isn't the first time the dog has attacked a child. He says the owner provided him with documentation, showing the dog attacked another child in February.

Clark says when he spoke with the owner, he had no remorse or concern for the little girl who was bitten and commented that if kids go on his property, they are fair game.

Animal control currently has the dog quarantined.

Clark tells WSAZ.com that if the dog is not put down, his goal is to make sure the dog is contained in a secure enclosure with a fence.

Clark has presented the case to the county attorney and asked for a charge of harboring a vicious animal against the owner. That is a misdemeanor.

WSAZ.com asked Clark about laws surrounding dogs in Johnson County. He says at the county level, there are no leash laws.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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