AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A dog walker pleaded not guilty earlier this week to child endangerment charges after the dog she was watching allegedly bit a 4-year-old girl.

Police responded Oct. 19 to a report of a dog bite in the 2300 block of 23rd Street in Santa Monica, said Sgt. Jay Moroso of the Santa Monica Police Department.

Detectives learned that Rebecca McGroerty, the dog walker, was given instructions by the owner of the 10-year-old Staffordshire terrier to keep it muzzled and on a leash while it was outside the home, Moroso said.

McGroerty’s employers told her she was not to have anyone other than employees or residents in the home where the dog was because the animal was afraid of and had aggressive behavior toward children, Moroso said.

The girl was not a resident of the house. The dog was not on a leash and was not wearing a muzzle at the time of the attack, Moroso said.

The 4-year-old girl was treated with stitches to an injured leg, Moroso said.

The dog was impounded by the Santa Monica Animal Control Unit for a 10-day quarantine and then released to the owner, with muzzle and leash restrictions. However, the owners had already been using these restrictions, Moroso said.

The next hearing for McGroerty is Jan. 8, 2014.

 

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