The Indianola City Council unanimously voted Monday night to "humanely destroy" a PIT BULL that attacked a 4-year-old earlier this month.
Rescue and law enforcement officials were called to 912 West Detroit Ave. in Indianola on June 2 after a pit bull owned by Scott Miller bit the boy, according to a police report written by Indianola officer Jay Hackett. Hackett found the child with two large holes near his eyes on the side of the nose, according to the report.
"Due to the bleeding I could not see how deep the bite was," the report states. "A large number of scrapes were located on the head. On the lower right leg a large amount of bruising had started to occur and a few of the bites had broken his skin." Peterson was transported to a hospital in Des Moines.
Kevin Peterson, the boy's father, spoke during a hearing before the council decided to euthanize the dog.
"I'm lucky he's not dead," Peterson said. "I only left him in our yard for 30 seconds, and our yard is mostly fenced."
Peterson said the incident has left him with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and he urged the council to create an ordinance banning pit bulls.
"Most insurance companies won't insure pit bulls because they know there's a problem there and they know the damage they cause and the people they kill," Peterson said. "My kid won't leave the house. He won't go to his little league games. He's devastated. It's going to take years, further surgeries and psychiatric care to help him."
The dog's owner, Scott Miller, spoke in favor of his animal, and said the 2-year-old rescue dog isn't usually vicious. He also said his dog has come inside a few times in the last month with a bloody face because someone had been throwing rocks at him. He asked council members if they'd like to see pictures of the rocks he's found in his yard, but the council declined.
Miller said that at the time of the incident, the boy was "yelling and swinging around a rake" and the dog "must have took that as a threat." "He has never been aggressive or come close to being aggressive to anybody," Miller said. "He is a good dog."
Mike Bowlin, a relative of the boy, told council members he supported putting the dog to death. "My grandson plays in that yard on a regular basis," Bowlin said.
"It could have very well been him. ... We're lucky we didn't go to a funeral instead of a hospital visit."
Indianola resident Wendy Mallory also spoke in favor of destroying the dog, stating "We need to consider the safety of our children."
Miller will have up to 10 days to file an appeal in district court. Mayor Kelly Shaw indicated his support to further explore a ban on pit bulls during the meeting.