FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2013
Contact: Jay Moroso, Sergeant
On October 19, 2013, the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a call of a dog bite in the 2300 block of 23rd Street. Responding officers determined that a 4-year old girl had been bitten on her leg by a 10 year old Staffordshire Terrier.
Further investigation revealed that the dog was in the care of a pet care professional/dog walker by the name of Rebecca McGroerty. Ms. 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 Ms. McGroerty that the dog was afraid of and aggressive toward small children. Ms. McGroerty's employer gave her instructions that she was not to have anyone other than employees or residents entering the house where the dog was residing. When the attack occurred, it occurred inside of the owner's house, with the 4-year old present, who was not a resident. The dog was not muzzled and off-leash at the time of the attack.
The 4-year old was treated with stiches to her leg and released to her parents. The dog was impounded by the Santa Monica Animal Control Unit for a 10 day quarantine period and was released to the owner by the Los Angeles County Public Health Veterinarian. Muzzle and leash restrictions were placed on the dog; however, they were already voluntarily being used by the dog owner prior to the incident.
Ms. McGroerty was charged by the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office with Penal Code section 273a (a), Child Endangerment. A court date of 11/26/13 at the LAX Court, Division 147 is set for her arraignment.
Anyone with questions regarding the charges is asked to contact Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White at (310) 458-8331. Anyone with additional information regarding the dog bite is asked to contact Detective Lloyd Gladden (310) 458-8931 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.