Mother of baby mauled by dog faces summary offenses

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The McKeesport woman whose infant son died after being bitten by her husky last week now faces summary offenses for violating dog laws, police said Tuesday.

McKeesport police Capt. Tim Hanna said Brandy Furlong, 21, will be cited for four counts of failing to properly license her dogs, four counts of not vaccinating her dogs against rabies and one count of harboring a dangerous dog -- the husky that police suspect bit her 3-day-old son.

Ms. Furlong told police last week that she had left her son, Howard Nicholson, sitting in an infant carrier on the floor between a mattress and a couch in her Scott Street home for just a few minutes while she went to the bathroom Thursday morning. When she returned, she told police, her son was wailing and bloody. He died in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC a little more than an hour later.

The district attorney's office said it was investigating the boy's death and that "initial findings indicate that there were no crimes committed leading up to and contributing to the death of [Ms. Furlong's] baby."

Capt. Hanna said Ms. Furlong will appear before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi, who will determine whether the husky should be deemed dangerous.

He said the husky and another dog -- two of Ms. Furlong's four dogs -- were taken to Ferree Kennels in McKeesport following the boy's death. Ms. Furlong would have been able to pick up the husky on Tuesday if she posted a bond to cover the dog's medical expenses, the captain said. He said he did not know whether Ms. Furlong had done so, and workers at the kennel could not be reached Tuesday.


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