A pet-sitter has been charged with child endangerment after a dog in her care bit a 4-year-old girl, according to a statement from Santa Monica Police Department.
The attack happened on Oct. 19 when 4-year-old Kennedy, her mother Auburn Kisselman, and her mother’s friend Rebecca McGroerty returned from taking Roxanne for a walk.
The dog was in the care of McGroerty, a pet care professional/dog walker employed by Fetch Pet Care.
According to Pet Fetch Care, McGroerty was given instructions by the owner of the dog to always keep the dog muzzled and on a leash while it was outside of the house.
The owner also told McGroerty that the dog was afraid of and aggressive toward small children, according to the news release from Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Moroso, who said the city attorney had filed the charges. She was also instructed not to bring other people into the home, but allowed her friends in to use the restroom, Moroso stated.
Before the attack, Roxanne approached Kennedy and appeared to be sniffing her leg when the girl backed away, Kisselman told KTLA two days after her daughter was injured.
The dog lunged then at Kennedy’s leg, Kisselman said. Once the dog let go, Kisselman and her daughter ran into the bathroom, locked the door and called 911.
McGroerty, who broke two fingers pulling the dog’s jaws off the child, and Kisselman were very shaken up about the attack and spoke with KTLA two days after it happened. The girl was treated with “countless” stitches, Kisselman said.
“I didn’t know it had that kind of capacity,” McGroerty said at the time. “No one should be around a dog like that except an expert.”
The dog was described by McGroerty and Kisselman as a pit bull; Moroso referred to her as a Staffordshire Terrier.
(When the pet-sitter spoke to KTLA, she gave her name as Rebecca Kay, but authorities named her as Rebecca McGroerty.)
The pet-sitting company, Fetch Pet Care, said last month that its franchisee had “ended the relationship with the contractor,” meaning McGroerty.
“Our first and foremost concern and deepest sympathy is the with the child and the child’s family,” the statement from Fetch Pet Care read. “To our best knowledge, our independently-owned and operated franchisee in Los Angeles adhered to proper protocol by educating its pet-sitting contractor of its strict policy regarding unapproved guests visiting a pet owner’s home.”
McGroerty was due in court Nov. 26 to be arraigned.