Owners of dogs that attacked boy appear in court

July 5, 2011 4:03:06 PM PDT
A young boy is still recovering after a vicious attack by two dogs late last month. The dog owners went before a judge today to plead on behalf of themselves and their dogs. Those dog owners face charges in connection with the attack that left a 10-year-old boy hospitalized. After emergency surgery, the boy is expected to make a full recovery.

The owners claim it wasn't their fault the dogs got out.

The two dogs in question are pit bull mixes, about 3-4 years old. Their owners, Michael Haynes and Kimberly Shepherd, are accused of failing to secure those dogs properly, leaving them to get loose and attack Mario Lopez back on June 30, causing serious bodily injury.

Haynes and Shepherd say they weren't at their Crosby home at the time of the incident. Witnesses say Lopez was riding his bike in the neighborhood and did not provoke the attack.

Hayes and Shepherd face between 2 and 10 years in prison if convicted. Their defense attorneys says they really thought their dogs were secured and feel terrible about the boy's injuries.

"They're as devastated as anybody over this," said defense attorney Michael Turner. "They have a child of their own. Their concern right now is with the welfare of that young boy who was injured and they thought they had done everything they possibly could have to secure these dogs."

"There were injuries to the face, arms and legs," said prosecutor Belinda Smith. "There was muscle tearing and severe lacerations."

The two dogs will be quarantined for rabies observation until Sunday night at Harris County Animal Control. If they don't receive orders from the court, the dogs can be returned to their owners.

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