Day care provider charged after dog bites twins

Published: Jan. 5, 2017 at 7:08 PM CST
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A Des Moines day care provider faces child endangerment charges after two children in her care were attacked by dogs.

Melissa Anderson, 33, is charged with two counts of child endangerment with bodily injury.

Court documents indicate twins were mauled by a pit bull terrier, named Trouble, in her home.

The incident happened on November 11 at her residence in the 7300 block of Southwest 14th Street. Court documents show the children suffered multiple lacerations, cuts, bleeding and skin separation in the attack. Additionally, both children suffered infections.

Police said Anderson failed to seek medical attention for the children, and failed to notify the parents or police of the injuries.

Police said the parents noticed the injuries when picking up the children from the day care and immediately took both children to a hospital.

Anderson’s neighbor, Becca Wise, said she had no idea that Anderson was gone, or that the kids who were recently injured were under Anderson's supervision as a day care provider.

“I see kids going in and out and playing in the street and playing in the front yard,” Wise said. “I didn't even realize that there was a day care center.”

Officials with Iowa Department of Human Services confirmed that Anderson is not a registered day care provider, meaning she is only allowed to watch five or fewer children.

“I have counted a total of 11 people in that house at once,” Wise said. “Two adults and then the rest children.”

Police said the dog bit a 7-year-old child in May, and was classified as a high-risk animal for the breed and behavior.

Sgt. James Butler, with Des Moines Police Animal Control, said Anderson signed a document acknowledging her dog was high risk due to breed and behavior following the May incident.

“Make no mistake, Trouble cannot ever be in a situation where she is at large again or involved in a bite or any violation of the Des Moines municipal ordinance,” Butler said.

Anderson was booked into the Polk County Jail and has since been released on bail.

Butler said it is now up to animal control to decide if the dog will go from being labeled high risk to being considered dangerous to the community.