By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
Douglas Bowling, owner of three pit bull dogs that reportedly attacked a toddler and her mother in August, pleaded not guilty Dec. 14 to three counts of felony failure to confine a vicious animal. Bowling was indicted on those charges in November.
Police said Bowling’s pit bulls Hitler, Moo Moo and Tater attacked Kahtauna Cook, who was 17-months-old at the time, and her mother, Janet Jones, on Aug. 2 at Bowling’s house at 405 Campbell Ave., Portsmouth.
The dogs have been in quarantine at the Scioto County Dog Pound since the alleged incident.
Kahtauna’s injuries required reconstructive surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Her mother was treated and released at Southern Ohio Medical Center.
Jones said she, her boyfriend, Roy Cook, and Kahtauna were staying at Bowling’s house, also the home of Roy Cook’s mother, in anticipation of moving to Columbus.
“I think those dogs should be put down,” Jones said soon after the attack. “The oldest dog has bit several people; he’s bit a couple of kids and has bit four or five adults. The other two dogs have never bitten anybody.”
The Portsmouth City Health Department filed an incident report in April 2009 referencing a pit bull named Hitler biting someone while entering a gate at 405 Campbell St. The victim was treated and released at Southern Ohio Medical Center, according to the report.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said Bowling has a pre-trial hearing Jan. 12 before Judge William T. Marshall.
If convicted as charged, Kuhn said Bowling could face up to 18 months in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine for each count.
“The statute requires those dogs to be held until the case is over. If he is convicted as charged they’re (the dogs) required to be destroyed. If he is convicted of a lesser crime then there is some discretion on the court to make findings on what happens to the dogs,” Kuhn said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.