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Published: Tuesday, 2/6/2007

Mother of child injured by pit bull pup released

Martina Jennings, with her attorney, Larry DiLabbio, is arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court on one charge of child endangerment stemming from her son's injuries. Martina Jennings, with her attorney, Larry DiLabbio, is arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court on one charge of child endangerment stemming from her son's injuries.
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The mother of a 4-year-old disabled boy who is believed to have had his foot chewed off by a dog Friday was released on bond yesterday from the Lucas County jail after posting $10,000 bond.

Martina Jennings of 1209 St. John Ave. left the jail after visiting Judge Mary Trimboli in Toledo Municipal Court set bond on a charge of child endangering.

Ms. Jennings' attorney, Larry DiLabbio, had tried to get the judge to release his client on her own recognizance, noting that she has no criminal history and is the primary caretaker for her son, Jameille Walker.

Jameille has spina bifida and cannot feel pain in his lower extremities. He is recuperating in Toledo Hospital, Mr. DiLabbio said.

Daniel Cole, a Toledo pediatric rehabilitation specialist who is owner and president of Cole Orthotic & Prosthetic Center on Phillips Avenue, yesterday told The Blade his company would donate a prosthesis and orthosis for Jameille to stand, if doctors believe it is possible.

Ms. Jennings was arrested Friday after taking her son to Toledo Hospital for injuries she claimed were caused by the family's pit bull puppy. She had been held without bond until this morning.

Members of her family who attended her arraignment yesterday declined comment.

A preliminary hearing for Ms. Jennings was scheduled for Feb. 16.

"I think this was just an unfortunate incident and there was no child endangering or anything like that involved," Mr. DiLabbio said after the court appearance.

Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon said his department will assist Toledo police with their investigation.

Ms. Jennings reportedly told a deputy warden that she awoke Friday and was alerted by another child that her son's foot was red. She noticed her young son's injury and saw blood on the dog's face and chest, Mr. Skeldon has said.

Ms. Jennings took the boy to the hospital and later signed a surrender slip for the puppy. The puppy was euthanized Friday afternoon, officials said. Its body is to be examined for rabies by health department officials.



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