An Independence girl is recovering after she was severely attacked Friday by a neighbor's pit bull dog.
The girl, who had been playing with neighbor children in a yard on South Northern Boulevard and was climbing a tree when the dog apparently got out of its kennel, suffered severe cuts and puncture wounds to her chest, abdomen, neck, side and back.
The dog, and 11-month-old terrier pit bull mix named “Boots,” has been surrendered to the Great Plains SPCA Regional Animal Shelter in Independence. According to city records, the dog must have a quarantine period for rabies until Monday, as the dog did not have a current rabies vaccination, plus two days further for being charged as a dangerous dog. If the owner does not reclaim the dog after that time, it could be destroyed, though as a pit bull that was not grandfathered in under the city's 2006 pit bull ban, it would be an illegal dog. According to city records, the responding animal control officer said she would recommend the dog be euthanized if deemed dangerous.
The dog's owner, DeMark McKinney, could not be reached for comment, but according to city records he told animal control he does not want the dog back, and earlier he had told KMBC-TV News he did not know of the city's pit bull ban.
McKinney, who said he had owned the dog since it was a puppy, has been cited for a dangerous dog, unlicensed pit bull and failure to procure a current rabies vaccination. The dog had received puppy shots in September 2016 at Eastwood Hills Animal Hospital but did not have a current rabies shot. McKinney has a municipal court date later this month.
According to city records, both McKinney and the girl's mother said the girl had been playing outside, while Boots was in the kennel, when they were told by others that the dog was biting the girl. The mother and McKinney got Boots off the girl, and the mother soon took the girl to a hospital, from which she was later transferred to Children's Mercy.
McKinney said he did not know how the dog's kennel door had become open.
Neither of the girl's parents could be reached for comment Wednesday.