Family dog bites Olathe baby girl

OLATHE, Kan. - Olathe police said a dog bit an 11-month-old baby girl Tuesday evening.

Police were called around 7 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a dog bite in the 100 block of Ridgeview Road.

Once officers arrived, they found Winona Nelson, who goes by Winnie, suffering from several dog bite wounds to the head. She was taken to Children's Mercy South Hospital in serious condition.

The baby girl was released from the hospital and is now at home recovering from several deep cuts.

"She had stitches in about 10 different areas. It was a split second when it happened. It was just that quick. We call her Winnie for short; she is the love of our life. She is just at the age where she is walking from chair to chair and crawling," described her grandfather Gary Nelson.

The dog, a male Labrador/Boxer mix named Rebel, was removed from the home and is now at the city animal shelter, where it will stay while under investigation.

"She loved that dog and that dog loved her. We have had that dog for four years," said Nelson.

But he said Tuesday night, the baby girl knocked over the cat's food and the dog attacked.

"She turned over the cat food and in a split second, the dog reacted. In this case it wasn't even his food; it was the cat's food. She just turned the plate over and he heard the noise and he charged," said Nelson.

Nelson said his daughter and the baby's mother was in the room and pulled the dog off Winnie immediately but Winnie still sustained injuries to her face, neck and head.

Police say the same dog bit another child back in 2009.

"There had been an incident in ‘09 where the dog I believe had bit another child family member. We don't believe the incident was this serious, the injury but we document that. We did take a police report. We went through the normal protocols and the dog was released back to the family so they did everything they needed to get the dog back," explained Sgt. Grant Allen with the Olathe Police Department.

Her grandfather said he was a warning for anyone with family pets and young children.

"My advice is to not have a family pet inside the house around any toddler. They are unpredictable," said Nelson.

And police agree.

"The one thing I would recommend is that if you do have a family pet make sure you are very cautious with small children because dogs you know they could turn on anytime," said Allen.

The dog will stay at the city shelter for 10 days, which is normal procedure. Then prosecutors will decide if they need to hold a viscous dog hearing if the family wants to keep the dog in the home.  But Nelson said he has already made up his mind.

"I am going to request that he not return because I cannot risk him being in the house again or around my child. I feel bad for the dog. I am an animal lover. I love animals but my child comes first my grandbaby comes first. It's just recovery time for that little angel," said Nelson.

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