Mansfield dog faces possible euthanization after biting boy who required 400 stitches

Nobody knows what prompted Milo, a 3-year-old pointer-hound mix, to bite a young Mansfield boy Jan. 3, but what is certain is that the boy required more than 400 stitches to repair the wound.

Dawn Herbert-Miller, mother of Christian, 6, would like the dog euthanized and has petitioned Mansfield selectmen to order Milo’s owners to put him down. The board is preparing to rule on the case after it hears witness testimony at a “mini trial” on Wednesday, Selectmen Chairman Olivier Kozlowski said.

“Whether you’re a dog owner or not, it’s easy to recognize how a dog is really a member of your family,” Kozlowski said. “But our primary concern has to be public safety.”

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Michael Bailey, the dog’s owner, said his daughter Heather was babysitting Christian at the Bailey house. Heather left the small boy and the sleeping dog alone for several minutes.

When she heard a commotion in the other room, she rushed back in and found Milo biting the 6-year-old. She pulled the dog away and locked him in a bathroom while calling 911, Bailey said.

“We don’t really know what happened because nobody was in the room,” Bailey said.

He said Milo had no history of attacking Christian or anyone else. Heather, who has been babysitting the boy since September 2012, usually watches him at his own house, next door to the Baileys’ But because of unusual circumstances on the day of the attack, she took him to the Bailey home, Bailey said.

The Herbert-Millers’ attorney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Bailey said he has arranged to have Milo examined by several behavioral experts and does not believe the dog deserves to be euthanized. He said the family is willing to pursue training or any other options in order to keep Milo.

“If at the end of all this Milo is deemed to be too dangerous ... we will euthanize or get rid of him on our own,” Bailey said. “We’re just trying to mitigate the emotional turmoil [Heather] already suffers because she feels responsible for this.”