Prosecutor charges parents of child mutilated by pet ferret

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The Jackson County Prosecutor has charged a Grain Valley couple with endangering the welfare of a child after their 4-month-old baby received severe injuries to his fingers as a result of bites from a pet ferret.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced that Ryan R. Waldo and Carrie R. Waldo have been charged with one count each of first degree endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from an incident in January in which the couple's 4-month-old baby received severe injuries to his fingers as a result of bites from a pet ferret.

According to police reports, the couple told police that Ryan was asleep upstairs and Carrie was asleep on the couch next to the infant's baby rocker. The infant's screams woke the mother who found the infant covered in blood and several of his fingers missing. Ryan Waldo told police he awoke to the screams and, when he discovered what the ferret had done, caught the ferret and threw it against the dishwasher killing it. The infant was taken to a local hospital because seven of his fingers required surgery to complete the amputation process because the ferret had chewed the fingers down to the knuckles.

Initially, the couple told police that the ferret had never bitten anyone, but person with a ferret rescue organization told police the family's landlord had contacted the group four days before the incident to say the family wanted to give up the ferret since it had bitten the baby twice. The couple's story further unraveled when Grain Valley police subpoenaed the cell phone records of the couple. The phone records indicate the cell phones were being used to exchange text messages from several different areas at a time when the couple claimed to be asleep.

The infant and an older sibling have been removed from the parent's custody pending the outcome of the case.

The judge reduced the couple's bond from $10,000 to $5,000 each.  The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted bond.

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