By Calvin Palmer
A four-day-old baby is in critical condition after being taken from its crib by the family’s dog and carried to the wooded backyard.
Alexander James Smith was spotted as his father, Michael Smith, frantically called 911 to report a missing newborn. The baby was bleeding from the mouth and clutched in the mouth of Dakota, a Native American Indian dog.
The baby was taken to the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, where his condition was listed as critical today, with two collapsed lungs, a skull fracture, broken ribs and various cuts and bruises.
Smith said he and his wife, Chrissie, had just put Alexander James (or AJ) in his crib Monday afternoon in their Nicholasville, Kentucky, home and were preparing for a baby shower. When Chrissie returned to the bedroom minutes later, one of the doors was ajar and both the baby and the dog were gone.
Smith headed to the backyard, knowing that Dakota, a mixed breed with wolves in its ancestry, had a reputation for stealing household items like cups and wallets and depositing them there.
He spent 10 minutes looking among the trees and bushes in the two-acre fenced backyard before finding the dog and child about 200 yards behind the house.
“When you’re running through the backyard and you can’t find him, every worst fear comes through your head,” Smith said. “We had to try to stay positive, try and find him. My guess is five more minutes and he wouldn’t be here.”
Jessamine County chief deputy sheriff Allen Peel said no charges had been filed, but the case remains under investigation.
Smith, who is the owner of a security company where his wife also works, said the dog was treating the baby as a puppy and wasn’t being vicious.
But he expects that Dakota, who was taken into custody by animal control, will be destroyed.
The four-year-old dog was one of three the family had owned since they were puppies and had no history of aggression, even when playing with Smith’s two other children from a previous marriage, he said.
“It wasn’t a vicious dog attack,” Smith said. “She had AJ for 10 minutes on her own, and if you look at AJ’s belly, there’s about 100 little marks. All the dog had to do was one bite and AJ wouldn’t be here.”
[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]