A Colorado woman has been charged with keeping a vicious animal after her dog allegedly mauled and seriously injured a 3-year-old child earlier this month.
The Lake Havasu City Police Department released additional information in the case Monday. The dog’s owner, identified by police as 40-year-old Aspen resident Heather L. Warrick, is now expected to appear in Lake Havasu Municipal Court July 15 to answer the complaint against her.
Emergency first responders were called May 6 to the western bank of the Bridgewater Channel after receiving reports of a dog having bitten the victim. On their way to the scene, officers were allegedly informed that Warrick left the area with her animal after the attack.
Responding officers soon found Warrick’s vehicle, which allegedly matched descriptions given by witnesses. At least one witness had followed Warrick from the scene, the report said, and indicated her to arriving law enforcement.
Officers stopped and questioned Warrick at the scene. According to the police report, Warrick told officers she was going to secure her animal in a cool room before returning to speak with police. She had no intention of fleeing, she allegedly told officers.
According to statements allegedly made by Warrick, the animal – a 6-year-old Rottweiler-mastiff mix – had never been aggressive. But while the dog played with the victim under supervision by both herself and the child’s parents, the dog attacked suddenly and without warning.
Records showed the animal’s vaccinations were not current, according to police. The dog was also not leashed or tagged at the time of the attack.
The animal was taken into custody by Lake Havasu City Animal Control officers and transported to the Western Arizona Humane Society to be held until a hearing to determine the dog’s fate. According to the police report, Warrick’s animal will remain in custody at the Western Arizona Humane Society until its release is ordered by a judge.
The victim was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center, before being flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment of his injuries. The child survived, but required emergency surgery and about 200 stitches as result of the attack, according to statements made to police by the child’s father.
The child and his family are California residents, according to the father’s statements, and were visiting Havasu on vacation at the time of the incident.
According to statements to police by the victim’s mother, he was recovering from his injuries and “in high spirits” as of May 8.
A GoFundMe campaign has been created to aid in the victim’s recovery and mitigate medical costs relating to his treatment. As of Tuesday afternoon, that campaign reached $4,955 of its $20,000 goal.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/rusty-cooper-recovery.