Two dogs in the Ridgeville home where an infant boy was fatally mauled last week were “very lacking” of proper vaccinations, Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight said Friday.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recommended that the two Labrador retrievers undergo testing for rabies following the April 20 attack that killed 2-month-old Aiden McGrew, Knight said in an interview.
“Given the lack of vaccination history, it was in the best interest to have the dogs tested for rabies,” Knight said. “That was done. They have no more use to our investigation.”
The test results are not yet known.
Aiden’s mother, Chantel McGrew, said in a 911 call that a dog the family had been watching bit off her son’s leg. She said the dog, which sheriff’s officials said was recently adopted by the family, had “blood all over him.” But her “personal dog,” a longtime family pet named Lucky, did not, she told a dispatcher.
Quintin McGrew, the baby’s father, was sleeping inside their Sandpit Drive mobile home and was in bed with the other dog and the couple’s toddler, officials have said. Chantel McGrew was at a doctor’s appointment with her 7-year-old.
Neighbors have said the dogs never showed signs of aggression.
“Both dogs had the same problems with vaccinations,” Knight said.
The dogs were handed over to animal control officers and taken to Francis R. Willis SPCA in Summerville, according to Knight. The sheriff and other law enforcement officials said they had no knowledge of their status.
Reached by telephone Friday, a manager at the SPCA declined to say anything about the animals’ fate.
Jim Beasley, a spokesman for the DHEC in Columbia, also refused to comment further and would not confirm any action taken with the dogs this week.
“It’s against our policy to make any kind of statement,” Beasley said. “This is a matter the sheriff’s office is investigating. We didn’t want to get in their way.”
Medical and law enforcement officials have said the boy’s death was one of the most gruesome they’ve ever handled.
The sheriff said Friday that the investigation to determine whether charges should be filed against the infant’s parents has not been completed. Officials have asked state laboratories to expedite testing that could help investigators arrive at that conclusion, he said.
Typically, the process can take weeks.
“In this type of investigation, there’s a lot of crime-scene evidence that has to be tested,” Knight said. “But we’ve asked (the State Law Enforcement Division) to put a rush on it.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.