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Cass Co. dog attack trial postponed, parents speak

CASS COUNTY, Ind.— The long awaited trial for two men facing charges for a dog attack has been postponed.

In April, a woman and two of her grandchildren were allegedly attacked by a neighbor’s dog that went on to their property.

The kids were playing in the back yard when a neighbor’s pitbull jumped on their trampoline and attacked 2-year-old Arial and 7-year-old Anthony. Their grandmother was also hurt trying to protect the kids.

Eight months later, the Harrisons are still recovering and anxious for some resolution.

Now, 3-years-old, Arial is facing a lifetime of recovery. She lost both of her ears and most of her scalp.

Anthony’s wounds are nearly all healed, but, not all of his scars can be seen on the surface. He says it’s something he thinks about every single day. As a big brother, he says he worries about little Arial.

“She’s strong. Stronger than I am that’s for sure. You see her every day. Scars. Crying. It sucks,” says dad Donald.

Donald and mom Kendra Canen say keeping up with Arial’s care is constant. She still requires a feeding tube and doesn’t have any nerve function in her face.

“It is hard. I miss her smile a lot. It’s very hard to not see your 3-year-old smile,” says Kendra.

They’ve both missed a lot of work and time with the other kids for her doctor’s appointments and court dates.

The Harrisons say it’s been an incredible trying process on the entire family and felony charges would have provided a bit of justice.

Vashaun Morgan and Justin Smith are facing misdemeanor charges for violating the following Cass County ordinances related to the incident:

  • Dog bite
  • Dog running at large
  • Failure to vaccinate
  • Failure to license
  • Interference with law enforcement

Dreaming of their day in court has been the family’s only solace. But, with Tuesday’s trial postponed they say that sliver of justice feels farther than ever.

“I was supposed to protect her and I didn’t. They are supposed to do their job in the justice system, that’s what we rely on. That’s just the right thing to do. Well look what’s being done,” says Donald.

The family says the prosecutor’s office told them police wanted to do more testing on the evidence before going to trial.

We reached out to the prosecutor’s office to find out when the trial will be rescheduled for but have not heard back.

The Harrison's say they already owe over $60,000 in medical bills.

On November 11th, they are hosting a paddle auction to help fund Arial's future surgeries. It will be held at the Goshen Fair Grounds. For more information, the family asks you contact Don Harrison on Facebook.

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