Caren Henry and her husband, Laine Henry, of Grimes talk Thursday at Mercy Medical Center. Caren lost her nose in a dog attack Sunday
Madrid, Iowa (Des Moines Register) -- The terror struck on a familiar road.
Caren and Laine Henry
walked their pet beagle along a gravel road near Laine's father's home
in rural Madrid on Sunday afternoon. Their dog was on a leash and
happily trotting along the trail, leading its owners.
"It was a perfect spring day," Caren Henry remembered.
a 50-pound Labrador retriever mix with a black-and-white coat bounded
out of a yard. The dog, named Buddy, plowed into Caren Henry. It bit
into her right thigh and abdomen, puncturing the skin in both places.
the dog went for her face. It bit and scratched at her eyes, breaking
her sunglasses. Finally the dog clamped on her nose and tore it off.
Henry hustled to help his wife. He fought the dog, which bit his left
arm. "He finally had to bite the dog in its nose, and it let loose," his
The Henrys, who live in Grimes, ended up at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
Henry is beginning a series of reconstructive surgeries that she hopes
will restore her nose. The bite on Laine Henry's arm became infected. It
was so severe that he had to take leave from his work as a heavy
And the dog? The dog is under quarantine - at
the same home from which it escaped and attacked the Henrys. Dallas
County does not have a vicious dog ordinance that would require criminal
penalties for the dog's owner and potentially lead to the animal being
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office referred the matter
to the county's environmental health office. Director Ted Trewin ordered
the animal quarantined for six weeks. But after that, it's released
back to its owner.
The county has no animal control facilities and no place to quarantine or cage a potentially vicious dog.
investigation found that Des Moines police had impounded the dog in
2012 for attacking another dog. Trewin also dug up a certification that
the animal was free of rabies, a relief to the Henrys.
"It could have been so much worse," Caren Henry said.
"If I hadn't been wearing my sunglasses, I'm sure I would be missing an eye. If it had gotten ahold of my throat, I'd be dead."
owns the dog is another mystery. The dog was staying with Marcus
Johnson of the Zook Spur Road address. Johnson told authorities he
doesn't own the dog. It belongs to Thomas Goodson, who is homeless in
the Des Moines area, Johnson told officials.
provides food and shelter to the dog, but it doesn't stay with him on a
permanent basis, he said. However, Ryan Beattie, an attorney
representing the Henrys, said neighbors told him the dog is at the
Johnson residence most of the time.
Efforts to reach Johnson by telephone Thursday were unsuccessful.
Henrys both work and have health insurance, but how much of the
surgeries will be covered is unknown. Doctors plan to take cartilage
from Caren Henry's ear and elsewhere on her body to rebuild her nose. It
will take multiple surgeries.
"We took pictures at the hospital,
and it was the most grotesque things I've ever seen," Beattie said.
"There's just a hole where a nose should be."
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