HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Reno County authorities have identified the owner of a dog that attacked a young girl as the child's uncle. Emergency crews responded to the scene in the 1600 block of West Blanchard Road in South Hutchinson around 5:30 p.m. Monday. Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson says Kailynn Hartman, 4, was playing in her uncle's yard when she was attacked by a dog. "The uncle heard a scream, looked outside, saw a black and white dog had the girl pinned to the ground and was biting her around the neck area," said Henderson. At first Cauthorn said he managed to kick the dog off the girl, and then took her to a nearby hospital for treatment.
In a press release sent Tuesday, Henderson said Cauthorn admitted he started taking care of the dog after it wandered into his yard about four months ago. His statement changed after reporter Chris Frank from KAKE News, collected statements from neighbors who identified the dog as belonging to Cauthorn. Cauthorn originally denied ownership after the incident because he did not want to be charged for harboring a dangerous animal, Henderson said.
The dog and a second dog remain in quarantine because their vaccinations are not up to date. Reno County Health Director Julia Hulsey says possible rabies exposure is a serious matter. "There's a series of four shots that they actually do get," said Hulsey. "It's very expensive and it can be painful."
Both the Reno County and Rice County Health Departments are working with Hartman's family and Law Enforcement and the State of Kansas on this case.