West Ada

Leaving dogs with infant is recipe for disaster, Boise vet says. No charge in Kuna mauling.

One or more family dogs mauled a 4-week old baby at a home in Kuna in October — and the infant was hospitalized for weeks, an Ada County deputy prosecutor said Tuesday.

The baby is recovering from bites all over his body.

“Luckily, (the child) was on its stomach, and much of the face and stomach weren’t bit,” Ada County Deputy Prosecutor John Dinger said.

Dinger has reviewed the case for criminal wrongdoing on the part of the woman caring for the baby. He opted not to charge the woman, whose name has not been released.

The woman told Ada County Sheriff’s investigators that the attack occurred while she was loading items in her vehicle. She said one of her four dachshunds apparently climbed on furniture, attacked the baby and knocked him to the floor.

The fate of the dogs involved in the attack is unclear.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case but referred all questions to Dinger. The deputy prosecutor said it is his understanding that the dogs were removed from the home.

Could they be a danger to others?

Dangerous dog proceedings are typically driven by a victim, according to Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, director of the Idaho Humane Society. Under state law, a prosecutor can also undertake a vicious dog case. The case would then go to trial, and the dog’s fate would be decided.

In this case, the victim’s caretaker owned the dog, and the prosecutor opted not to pursue a dangerous dog case. Rosenthal said the Idaho Humane Society found nothing in the dog’s behavior that indicated it was a danger to the general public.

“What danger it did constitute was equal to that of any normal dog of that size and type,” Rosenthal said.

He said half or more dogs in existence might very well do the same thing if left alone with a tiny infant.

“To a dog, a baby of that size and age would likely be seen by most dogs as more like a rabbit, squirrel or even toy than a human being,” Rosenthal said.

In 2003, a wolf-dog hybrid killed a 13-month-old Boise child, Andre Angel Thomas.

The dog had previously bit another child and was ordered to remain in home confinement. The 13-month-old was visiting that house with his mother the night of the fatal attack. The dog was euthanized by the Idaho Humane Society.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller