The Waldroup family said they took their 3-year-old daughter, Ronin, to the Loose Caboose in Old Town Spring on Jan. 9. As the little girl entered the restaurant, a dog wearing a service vest bit her face, family members said.
Attorneys representing the dog's owner and Ronin appeared Monday before Montgomery County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Matt Beasley for an administrative hearing to determine whether the dog should be euthanized.
During Monday's hearing, Ronin's parents said the dog should be put down. They said they believe the dog cannot have additional training that would prevent an attack from happening again.
"I don't want anyone else to go through this," said Ronin's mother, Cleveratta Gordon-Waldroup. "We are standing firm on putting Kingston down."
The family's attorney had previously said they normally would not ask for the dog to be euthanized but said it needs to be done since the dog has had previous issues, including a June 14, 2020 attack on the dog owner's previous roommate.
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"In general, the (victim's) family is against euthanization," said family spokesperson and service dog advocate Kaydin Downey. "But this dog has had previous bite cases before, and [the dog's owner] has continued to put a service dog vest on it and continued, not to just take it on walks unmuzzled, but to take it in mass groups of people like restaurants and stores. So regardless of its history, she's not taking preventative action to protect the public, and so, in this case, the family does want the dog euthanized for the safety of the community."
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In surveillance video of the attack obtained by ABC13, the woman and the dog are seen walking down the sidewalk with the girl's father, James Waldroup, walking not far behind her. The video does not include audio, but body language indicates an exchange between the two
"There was an accident," James recalled saying to the dog's handler. "[I said,] 'You cannot leave. My daughter is bleeding in a restroom and you're running down the road.'"
The woman then got in a car with a man and left.
Days later, the dog was taken into custody by authorities after the owner was identified. The animal was being kept at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. The Harris County Sheriff's Office told ABC13 that evidence would be presented to the district attorney's office for potential criminal charges against the owner.
Downey said Friday that the family planned to pursue civil action against the owner as well.