By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — An Everett woman’s pit bull terrier has landed her in legal trouble after the dog allegedly bit another woman in the face, causing extensive damage.
The injured woman needed upwards of 65 stitches to close wounds to her lips and cheeks, court papers said. The dog has been euthanized.
The bitten woman told police that she’d known her friend’s dog, Blue, since he was puppy. She said the dog bit her face on Halloween after she leaned over to give him some affection.
Prosecutors this week charged Blue’s owner, Brittney Basinger, with a felony in connection with the attack. They say that Basinger, 27, was aware that her dog was a potential danger.
Prosecutors filed a similar charge last year against a woman whose two dogs went on a chomping spree after escaping from their north Everett yard. She pleaded guilty in December and awaits sentencing.
In the latest case, prosecutors allege that Basinger was warned that her dog was a risk. The city of Everett advised Basinger in 2012 that Blue was deemed a potentially dangerous dog for an incident of aggression, as well as concerns the city has about his breed, court papers said.
In Everett, all pit bulls are classified as potentially dangerous even if there is no history of aggression or incidents of biting. Once a dog has been deemed potentially dangerous, the city requires the owner to keep the animal in a locked kennel or inside a home.
The dog isn’t allowed to be loose. Nor can it be simply kept chained or in a fenced yard. The animal also must wear a muzzle when outside the kennel or the owner’s home. The dog also must be registered and have an implanted ID microchip.
After the biting incident, Blue was found at a house on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. He was seized and taken to the Everett Animal Shelter. His classification was upgraded to dangerous dog and plans eventually were made to euthanize him because of his ongoing behavior, Everett spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said.
City officials allowed Basinger to say goodbye to her pet before he was put down Jan. 31, Pembroke said.
Basinger’s legal troubles extend beyond her dog. She has other pending criminal charges, including an alleged assault on a Tulalip police officer.
Basinger is accused of trying to bite an officer’s hand as the officer tried to seize small bags of suspected drugs sticking out of Basinger’s bra.
Basinger allegedly head-butted the officer in the face during the scuffle.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org