Katherine L. McSweyn, 28, on Thursday, July 6, appeared before Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer for sentencing. She represented herself and said she had no statement to make.
Janer asked her if she had a dog and she replied she had no pets. She added she works full-time and is a single mother with three children ages 8, 5, and 3, the youngest afflicted with a severe disability.
"Yes, sir," McSweyn replied.
Janer ordered her to pay $325 in court fines and costs and $237 in restitution to Bay County Animal Control. He imposed no jail time or probation [even though she didn't bother to show up to her February court date and had a bench warrant issued for her arrest].
McSweyn requested a payment plan. The judge allowed her to pay $50 payments due the first of each month, beginning Aug. 1.
McSweyn in May pleaded guilty to single counts of having a dog that attacked or bit a person and allowing a dog to stray. Both charges are punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
In exchange, the prosecution dismissed a second count of having a dog that attacked or bit a person.
McSweyn's charges stem from an incident that occurred July 15, 2016, in the 200 block of North Jackson Street, a few doors down from her home. A 7-year-old boy had been attacked by a pit bull McSweyn owned named Polor, police reports state.
The boy's mother told police she and her kids were outside when she saw Polor crossing the street. Her kids were riding their bikes and she was trying to gather them inside when she saw the dog, she said.
"As soon as (the boy) got off his bike the dog jumped up and bit him," the mother said. "Then when he turned around to come inside, the dog grabbed his leg from behind."
The boy had three small wounds, the police reports state. Although an ambulance responded, the boy's family took him to a hospital themselves.
McSweyn told police she bought Polor from a friend and that he is a year old.
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This woman has three kids and refers to herself a 'single mother'. Her youngest child apparently has a birth defect which is pretty serious. She is trying to raise money for that child's medical care by having people in the Michigan area have fundraisers... SO WHY IS SHE BUYING A PIT BULL???
Who buys random Pit Bulls? What woman - with three small children, including an ill one that may be seen as a defect by a powerful, muscular, prey-driven dog, says, "Hmm, I'll take some of my money - which I claim to not have much of - I'll take my money and go BUY a PIT BULL from a 'friend' and stick it inside my house with my three children???"
They need to be sterilized. They need rabies shots, distemper shots, heartworm preventative - which is not cheap, flea and tick preventative so they're not crawling with fleas and infesting your house. They need parasite preventative so they don't get whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms and all sorts of nasty things. You need to buy dog food - which isn't cheap the larger of a dog you have. If the dog will spend any time outside, you'll need a doghouse. I bought an XL one a few years back and was shocked at how expensive those plastic dog igloos are. You need to buy city tags for them. You need to buy a bark collar or pay for obedience training if the dog has issues. Depending on the type of dog, it may need to be taken to a groomer so its hair doesn't get matted.
As they age, they naturally begin having more medical issues that require more trips to the vet. They may have dental issues, bladder issues, etc. My dog has to be on medicated food the rest of its life -- ONE 8-POUND BAG OF FOOD COSTS $35.
Animals aren't free.
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"This is the third time it has bit a kid in the neighborhood," she said. "I'm done. I told Animal Control to come and take it. Today, my daughter had the door open and he got out."
Polor took off down the street, she said.
"He went up and, like, put his front feet on the kid's shoulders, then he bit the kid in the face," McSweyn told police, according to their reports.
She added Polor actually ran into her neighbor's house and she had to go in to get him out.
An Animal Control officer took Polor to the shelter and he was quarantined for 10 days, as is standard procedure. McSweyn signed away ownership rights to Polor the same day.
Polor was subsequently euthanized.
The bite charge that was dismissed stemmed from a May 4 incident that also happened in the 200 block of North Jackson. That incident also involved Polor, but records don't state who was bitten or elaborate on the circumstances.
(MLive - July 7, 2017)