Metro

Mansfield officials to decide dog’s fate

Nobody knows what prompted Milo, a 3-year-old pointer-hound mix, to bite a young Mansfield boy on Jan. 3, but what is certain is that the boy required more than 400 stitches to repair the wound.

Dawn Herbert-Miller, the mother of 6-year-old Christian, would like the dog to be euthanized and has petitioned Mansfield selectmen to order Milo’s owners to put him down. The board is preparing to rule on the case after it hears witness testimony Wednesday, said Olivier Kozlowski, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

“Whether you’re a dog owner or not, it’s easy to recognize how a dog is really a member of your family,” Kozlowski said. “But our primary concern has to be public safety.”

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Michael Bailey, the dog’s owner, said his daughter Heather was baby-sitting Christian at the ­Bailey house. She left the boy and the sleeping dog alone for several minutes, Bailey said.

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When she heard a commotion in the other room, she rushed back in and found Milo biting the boy on the cheek. She pulled the dog away and locked him in a bathroom and called 911, Bailey said.

“We don’t really know what happened, because nobody was in the room,” Bailey said.

He said Milo had no history of attacking Christian or anyone else. Heather Bailey, who has been baby-sitting the boy since September 2012, usually watches him at his own house.

The Herbert-Millers’ attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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Bailey said Milo will be examined by behavioral specialists and does not ­believe the dog deserves to be euthanized.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. ­Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.