OLD TOWN SPRING, Texas — A Texas toddler was mauled inside a restaurant Saturday by a dog wearing a service animal coat, the family said.
Ronin Waldroup, 3, walked into the Loose Caboose restaurant with her family when the dog, identified as a pit bull, with a service vest attacked her, KTRK reported.
“He grabbed her by the face and he shook her and I saw my baby hit the ground like a little rag doll,” mother Cleveratta Waldroup told KRIV. “The first thing my best friend did was grab her and put her in my arms.”
Waldroup ran with her friend and daughter to the bathroom.
“In my mind as she’s screaming, ‘I just needed to stop the bleeding. I just needed to stop the bleeding,’” Waldroup told KTRK.
Ronin’s father James Waldroup ran after the woman and her dog, who left right after the incident.
“I started yelling at her, ‘You can’t leave, this is an accident. You can’t leave.’ She had the gall to turn around and tell me it was my daughter’s fault,” Waldroup told KPRC.
Waldroup was able to get the woman’s license plate number as she left. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office have contacted the woman, who could face a criminal negligence charge, KPRC reported.
Ronin was taken to a hospital where she was given stitches, KTRK reported.
“For them to not show any compassion or any remorse to even stop and ask if my baby was OK, it goes beyond words,” Cleveratta Waldroup said. “She cares more about this dog. This dog now has to be checked out and everything, because my child runs the chance of getting rabies so that is still on the table until we get confirmation of its medical history.”
The family started a crowd-sourced funding account to help pay for medical costs.
“It’s enough that she’s going to have the mental trauma,” Waldroup told KTRK. “I don’t want her to look in the mirror and have that be a constant reminder of what happened.”
Service dogs have been specially trained for specific tasks. These dogs include guide dogs for the blind, diabetic alert dogs and psychiatric service dogs that help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Under Texas law, emotional support dogs are not considered service animals and do not have the same access rights as service dogs.
It is unclear if the woman’s dog is a certified service animal or not.