Young Brain Cancer Patient Loses Custody Of Helper Dog After Attack

RIVER VALE, N.J. (CBS 2) — A young girl lost custody of her German Shepherd after it bit another child in the face, Emily Smith reports.

To nine-year-old Molly Kimball, Ava, her 14-month-old dog is more than just a pet.

“She helps me through all of it and when sometimes I’m really sad she comes up to my face and kisses my tears,” she said.

Molly is battling brain cancer. Ava is being trained as her service dog, but right now she’s a valued companion.

“When Ava goes and wakes Molly up, she rolls out of bed with a smile on her face and comes down and takes her medication,” said her father, Paul Kimball.

While Ava is apparently devoted to Molly, there are questions whether the dog is a danger to other children.  The German Shepherd is now living in a shelter, pending a hearing this week to determine if she’s vicious.

In March, an incident involving the dog and a girl living next door, left the six-year-old child with a gash to her face that took 100 stitches to close.

Molly’s parents said it was an accidental collision between the leashed dog and the child.

“It wasn’t the dog snarling and me jumping and dragging it away. That didn’t happen. It was very quick,” Kimball said.

The injured girl’s parents disagree.

“It was a dog attacking a child point blank,” said Liz Gernhardt, the victim’s mother.

She said the dog ripped skin off her daughter’s nose.

“And to be there and have them tie her down so they could perform the surgery and to hear her scream, I never want to hear anyone scream like that. And this could have been prevented,” she said.

Gernhard said Ava nipped her son last year. She’s worried that the incidents will be repeated.

“I just want my children to feel safe and be safe while outside. That’s the bottom line,” she said.

The Gernhardts said they don’t want the dog to be put down, but they don’t feel it should be in a neighborhood filled with children.


One Comment

  1. BG says:

    No, but the Kimballs ARE the ones who contacted the media in the first place.

    1. Jim says:

      They contacted the media in order to try to save their dog–from the Gernhardt’s! What the heck did you want them to do?! Their daughter is possibly dying! Again, as a parent, there’s no way my kids taunt and/or “play” anywhere near a so-called “dangerous” dog, even if it was leashed. That’s most likely what the Gernhardt’s did–and no, I don’t believe you, Greg, Becky and the others when you repeatedly write that you were all there…and that the Gernhardt’s daughter did NOTHING at all to provoke this incident. I also don’t believe your various descriptions of the dog as well–you make it sound like a mix between Cujo and Underdog!

    2. Karen says:

      I live in River Vale and I am disgusted by what I have seen. The Kimballs and their misguided supporters from out of town have spread lies and misinformation about the victim and her family, and it is disgusting the lengths they are going to. They are using this situation to solicit MONEY for Ava’s “Legal Defense Fund” and they are eating up the attention they are getting. It is absolutely ridiculous that the Kimballs are getting away with calling their rescue dog/house pet a “service dog” when it has NO CERTIFICATION or training. Service dogs require special training for several years, not months. It’s sad that Molly has cancer but that does not give her a “free pass” to allow her dog to injure another person. I hope Izzie gets justice. She will carry scars for the rest of her life. The outsiders who just want to “help” are making this situation so much worse with their name calling and nastiness towards the victim.

      1. Cheryl says:

        Karen, I completely agree! It’s also disgraceful the way they have been parading Molly in front of the cameras, making her retell her story over and over again. All the Gernhardts have ever wanted was to protect their children. If the Kimballs were really interested in sparing Molly’s feelings, they would have suggested a compromise a long time ago instead of subjecting her to all of this heartache and drama.

    3. Misstt says:

      according to the girls mother, her daughter, her daughters nose was ripped off. Thankfully, according to the medical report, the child received a total of 2 stitches and the hospital classified it as a “laceration”, not a bite.

      1. RJ Klein says:

        Misstt- You CLEARLY didn’t read the medical report, this is not the place for false information to be spread! You also CLEARLY did NOT see the pictures of the victim’s injuries, which I’ll remind you have been on various news channel’s blurred out cause of the graphic nature and also unblurred in the Bergen Record. Not sure people want to know what your ‘agenda’ is for posting flat out lies.

  2. Monte says:

    This is a very unfortunate situation for everyone. I fully understand why the dog should not be kept in the neighborhood with children any longer. If it were my child that were injured the dog would not need to be put down. It would need to be removed.

  3. Rodin says:

    I think Jacq and BG would make a wonderful couple.

    I’ve had it with this thread. I’m outa heah!!!!

    1. Rodin says:


      Gone to play with my Dogs.

      May the Dogs be with you!

      1. BG says:

        I’m looking forward to going home to mine tonight.

    2. Jacq says:

      Good riddance.

  4. Rodin says:

    ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!

    This is getting very contrived. Yousses musta all been there cuz NOWHERE IN THIS ARTICLE can I find ANYTHING about leashes, who was there, who was holding the leash, who was where or there …. Get the drift.

    Where, pray tell, are you getting all this??? Certainly NOT here!

    1. Maria says:

      @Rodin: You might be right about that because the CBS story wasn’t very well done. Phil Lipoff of ABC covered it, news12 NJ and the Record as well (

    2. Reba says:

      A lot of us are people who personally know either one or both parties. Personally, I spoke to Mrs. Gernhardt right after this happened, before it became a media thing, before the dog was taken by the authorities,etc… I can vouch for their regret over Molly’s situation, and how it is a sad thing all around, for everyone. Mrs. G is a highly consientious mother, we have been friends since we were both pregnant with our first. Mrs. G has ALWAYS told the same story, it has never changed. Her daughter’s injuries attest to this being a very serious thing, “accident” or not…and even the Kimball’s do not claim that she provoked the dog, or that Molly was holding the leash or anywhere nearby. The amount of personal attack on their family just for wanting to protect their child is absolutely absurd!

    3. Jim says:

      From the article:

      “Molly’s parents said it was an accidental collision between the LEASHED dog and the child.”

      English IS a difficult language–good luck with your studies!

      1. BG says:

        Sorry, but this injury doesn’t look like an “accidental collision” to me.

    4. Kay says:

      It’s from the article with the pictures that everyone keeps pointing to:

      “Gernhardt said that on the day of the attack, Patricia Kimball ran after her unleashed dog, catching up to it in Gernhardt’s yard. Kimball allegedly leashed the dog, and the two women started chatting.

      “My daughter was standing eight feet away and the dog just lunged forward and ripped most of her nose off,” Gernhardt said.”

  5. Jacq says:

    The fact of the matter is, the only people at fault are the little girl’s parents. If they were watching their kid this would have never happened. Before anyone says something ignorant to me, remember, the dog was LEASHED when it attacked her. Watch your kids!!!!!! A dog is a dog is a dog is a dog! They look cute but they are unpredictable because they are ANIMALS.

    1. Jacq says:

      My 3 year old was attacked 5 days ago and I’m the only one to blame. I wasn’t watching her. Luckily she only had scratches on her body. Thank God she wasn’t bitten or even worse – KILLED. These parents should thank their lucky stars their child is still alive and watch her the next time she’s outside.

      1. Jacq says:

        Thanks, Rodin. There’s no way that went down how her mother said. Her mother needs to take accountability for what happened. While I don’t think she’s 100% at fault, I do believe she was in some type of position to prevent this from happening. I’m sorry but there is NO possible way that her child was hiding behind her when the dog attacked her. NO WAY. I don’t believe it. I didn’t read anywhere that the mother was injured.

      2. Jacq says:

        I would say, maybe 99% at fault. 😉

      3. Rodin says:

        @ Maria –

        I was being facetious, not expecting anyone to take that as fact. I haven’t made anything up.

        Geez, get a life. It usually comes with a sense of humor.

    2. BG says:

      Again Jccq – YOU get the facts straight. The little girl’s mother WAS there.

      1. Rodin says:

        Yep, “the little girl’s mother WAS there” talking on her cell and tweeting AND watching…, multitasking, they call it.

      2. BG says:

        No, she wasn’t on her cell. She was standing on her property talkiing to the dog’s owner after the dog’s owner chased the dog into her yard. The way you’re spreading lies is dispicable.

      3. Maria says:

        @Rodin: why don’t you stop making up things that never happened? The mother was chatting with the Molly’s mother who was holding the leash. Why would she be texting and chatting and even if she were, how does it pertain to the story?

      4. Jacq says:

        And let me get this straight BG, you know so much about what happened because YOU WERE THERE?

      5. Maria says:

        @Rodin: Even if you meant it facetiously, that’s how rumors start. Someone will read it out of context and tell the next person.

    3. BG says:

      And doesn’t that make the dog even more dangerous since it WAS leashed? YOU’RE the one who’s ignorant.

      1. Rodin says:

        And the leash was held by a by a 9-year-old with brain cancer.

      2. Jacq says:

        I’d like to know when and where I called anyone any type of name or referred to anyone as ignorant. GROW UP. Learn how to talk to another adult without calling them names. Okay, so the girl was hiding BEHIND her mother, her face received 100 stitches, the same face that was hiding BEHIND her mother, and her mother wasn’t injured. Please. Mom isn’t be honest. The only thing that they’ll all agree on is the dog bit the girl’s face, right? Whether the dog was leashed or not it would have attacked whether provoked or not because it’s an animal. The dog was leashed and the child had no reason to be by the dog. Had she not been near the leashed dog she would NOT have been attacked. Who is to blame for her being near that leashed dog? The dog’s owner?! NOPE, the mother of the child.

      3. BG says:

        No, the leash was held by it’s owner, who has now changed her story to say that her husband was holding it.

      4. BG says:

        When the dog’s owner calls her over to play with the dog, on property that belongs to the little girl and not the dog’s owner, then YES, it is the dog owner’s fault. And you used the word ignorant first, when you said the comments I made to you were ignorant. So don’t go trying to call me out. Get the facts of the story straight before you make comments about the people inv9olved.

    4. BG says:

      PS – the dog ran into the little girl’s yard. Maybe you should be saying the dog’s owner should be watching the dog instead of berrating a mother who’s child was in her own yard.

      1. Jacq says:

        What I did was place the blame on her. Get your facts straight. If the dog acted violent in the past why would her mother let a violent dog in her yard? What kind of mother lets a violent beast near her child (sarcasm) to attack their child? Now BG, that’s criticism. The leashed dog ran into the child’s yard, attacked the little girls face that was behind her mother, mother wasn’t injured. I’m still not buying what you’re selling.

      2. Jacq says:

        Sometimes, BG, the truth hurts.

      3. Jacq says:

        You must have me confused with someone else because I don’t call people names. NEVER EVER. If I did, show me where I did. You can’t because it didn’t happen. Not from me. Not a chance. I’m a grown adult and I can talk to someone else and get my point across to someone else without calling them silly names. Thank you.

      4. BG says:

        The mother DIDN’T let the dog in her her yard… it ran into her yard unleashed and the owner chased it down to put a leash on it. Whether it was violent in the past or not, it ripped teh little girl’s face apart. So it’s violent now. End of story. And by going and saying things like “BG – the truth hurts” – you’re only making yourself sound stupid.

      5. BG says:

        Here it is Jacq – the proof is in the pudding:


        The fact of the matter is, the only people at fault are the little girl’s parents. If they were watching their kid this would have never happened. Before anyone says something ignorant to me, remember, the dog was LEASHED when it attacked her. Watch your kids!!!!!! A dog is a dog is a dog is a dog! They look cute but they are unpredictable because they are ANIMALS.

        April 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Reply | Report comment

      6. Jacq says:

        Again, where did I call anyone names or ignorant? I specifically said, “Before someone says anything ignorant to me…” And then you came along, ha! I directly called you and everyone else ignorant. Yep, you’re right. You got me!!! HA! I can’t get anything passed you, can I? Do yourself a favor and learn how to comprehend what it is you’re reading.

      7. BG says:

        It was very obvious you wrote it in reaction to my comment that just because you said you’re a bad mother for letting it happen to your child, doesn’t mean the mother of every dog bite victim is responsible as well. And as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even say that you’re a bad mother in the first place. Your child was bit by a leashed dog and it’s the dog owner’s fault, not yours. You’re the one who got catty here, not me. This will be my last post to you.

  6. Jeff benson says:

    I refuse to provide more info than I do, and I will be very pleased to see everyone including the news people in court of this subject.

    Is anyone in this forum prevented from reviewing the DOJ Formal Definition of: Service Dog.


    Trainee, is the most important KEYWORD.

    Was the dog weaing its vest that states “TRAINEE.”

    1. Julie says:

      @Jeff Benson: What do you mean “There was no adult over the age of 18 present”? Where?

  7. JR says:

    Are you saying that us humans messed up the wild dog kingdom? Maybe we should let untrained dogs roam free to bite people. I hope the first person they go after is you.

    1. MJL says:

      YES JR… we have a winner !!! THEY’RE ANIMALS… they don’t know what the hell is going on !!! Its not the dogs fault, someone else “maybe”, but not that of an animal…

      God this place is full of idiots….

    2. Julie says:

      @MJL then by your reasoning the Kimballs should be held responsible since their dog attacked the girl in her driveway. So now that we’ve established that the Kimballs should be held responsible who will police them to make sure they take proper care of their dog and not let it run away? The dog should go to another person that will handle it property.

    3. Rodin says:

      MJL, BG, JR –

      Molly is 9 years old. The injured girl is 6. Neither has been educated to deal with the Dog. YES, the Dog is Molly’s parents’ responsibility. It’s also their responsibility to teach Molly to handle the Dog, to NOT let it off leash.

      It is the injured girl’s parents responsibility to teach their kids how to act around Dogs and other animals, not to frighten them with their own fears and preoccupations.

      That’s the best way to make sure these things don’t happen again.

      1. Maria says:

        Actually the little girls parents did teach her how to react if the dog came up to her. After the dog nipped her brother in November, the mom looked up information about dog bite prevention that said to stand still so she taught her kids to stand “like a tree”. After getting bitten, the little girl wanted to know why she got attacked when she stood like a tree. I’m not sure that Isabelle’s parents could have done anything to prevent this from happening.

  8. Julie says:

    MJL even though you’re just a troll and should be ignored, your argument doesn’t even make sense. Sharks walking up the street is akin the dog walking onto Isabelle’s property where it didn’t belong. Oh wait, that is what happened isn’t it.

    1. MJL says:

      Gosh Julie, you’re an idiot too.

    2. Julie says:

      Gosh MJL you can’t even come up with a better argument than calling people idiots.

    3. MJL says:

      That’s because its true, there is NO argument to have, unless you figured out a way to question a dog for a motive… loser. My only point was that its not the dogs fault… “Idiots” are the ones trying to blame an “animal”…

    4. BG says:

      Ok MJL, then blame the dog’s owner. Who’s the idiot now?

  9. JR says:

    That is the most insane rationale I’ve heard in all the comments about this case. The girl didn’t go into a den of wild dogs. She was standing in her own driveway. Nobody is anti-dog. The victim’s family doesn’t even think the dog should be put down.

    1. MJL says:

      Get a life idiot.

  10. Rodin says:

    Has the Dog attacked any children in the neighborhood OTHER than the Gernhardts’?

    If not, it might be more a matter on the Gernhardts teaching THEIR children how to behave around Dogs than anything in the Dog’s behavioral makeup. Small children, six-year-olds, who screech and scream and jump around and run and make brusk movements are especially annoying to most Dogs.

    There are always signals. There is no such thing as “It was a dog attacking a child point blank,”


    “Dogs are blameless, devoid of calculation, neither blessed nor cursed with human motives. They can’t really be held responsible for what they do. But we can.” – JON KATZ, from “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm”

    1. Rodin says:

      Just realized, this Dog attacked TWO kids from the same family? Any others?

      “Gernhardt said Ava nipped her son last year.” Last year Ava was a PUPPY!


      …and stop blaming the Dog.

      1. JR says:

        Rodin, If this is a service dog for a child shouldn’t the dog be able to handle children jumping around and just being children without attacking? In this case, the child was standing still and the dog probably sensed her fear. Clearly this is not a dog that should be around children and certainly not a service dog. The child was practicing dog bit prevention and was standing a safe distance away next to her mother just standing there. What else could the mother teach the child? Running away wouldn’t work so what do you suggest, voodoo mind tricks? I agree the dog is just a dog so maybe instead of blaming a small child you should blame the trainers and handlers of the dog.

      2. BG says:

        Who cares how many kids the dog bit before?! Look at the girl’s injuries and then try telling me this dog isn’t to blame!!!

      3. Rodin says:

        The Dog is NOT trained as a Service Dog. It’s 14 months old, still a pup.

        Dogs react to fear. Judging from the mother’s comments I bet anything she has instilled fear in her daughter due to her “allergies”. It’s too much of a coincidence that a Dog bites two kids in the same family and no one else. And, yes, the animal’s history makes a huge difference.

        I feel for the little girl. Thanks for sharing the link.

        “DOGS ARE BLAMELESS, devoid of calculation, neither blessed nor cursed with human motives. They can’t really be held responsible for what they do.

        “BUT WE CAN.”

        – JON KATZ, from “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm”

      4. BG says:

        Rodin – you are correct… the dog is NOT a service dog… and the family should not call it such. It gives true service dogs a bad name.

      5. Rodin says:

        I have three Dogs. I’m Partly disabled from a broken hip. One of my Dogs is a “service” Dog trained to walk the other two. I trained him and then got him certified. The other two are certified as “companion” Dogs. I know “service” Dogs. I don’t really think Molly’s parents do.

    2. tuscongirl says:

      you are NUTS. Dog owners are responsible for their dogs pure and simple. this dog does not have the personality needed to be a service dog. Bottom line. Dog should be removed. 100 stitches is a violent attack and should not be taken lightly.

      1. Rodin says:

        If it’s me you’re addressing, why don’t you read my entire post before vomiting your toxins? Or do you not understand?

      2. Jacq says:

        Where the h e l l were her parents when she was attacked by a LEASHED dog?!?!?!?!?!?! That’s what I want to know, where were parents? I’m not saying this dog is or isn’t violent. Dogs are animals and animals are very unpredictable. My kid was attacked by a dog 5 days ago – a LEASHED dog – and I’m the only one to blame.

  11. Erin says:

    Animals react to different cues than humans do, I don’t think anyone’s to blame in this situation — it was obviously a mistake. The owner didn’t control the animal properly, perhaps, but nobody’s intention was for anyone to get hurt. Attacking anyone involved with this is not productive. I don’t think everyone needs to be aware of exactly how dogs perceive body language… it doesn’t sound as if this girl was really taunting the dog — on purpose. That being said, dogs need to be trained NOT to react to human body language with aggression. I feel for this little girl, and honestly, the owners can’t promise the dog won’t act this way again — I also feel for the girl who is losing her dog. The proper authorities will decide whether the dog is dangerous, and if the girl gets to keep the dog, it will then become necessary for the owners to take EXTREME precautions to make sure this dog does not hurt anyone else. My family has a dog that was never violent except toward black men wearing baseball caps. We don’t know why, perhaps someone abused her before we adopted her, but it is something we became aware of early on and we have taken steps to make sure she is under control at all times in case of accidental encounters on walks, etc. Thanks to extensive training, she has never hurt anyone. Animals are unpredictable and when they prove to be super sensitive to provocation, extra precautions need to be taken. Forget “my dog is friendly, she would never do that.” Truth is, you don’t know — and you will never know — what your dog is really capable of unless they do something like this.

  12. danny says:

    I wonder what kind of teasing and messing around that this little angel did that made the dog nip at her. I would guess that the neighbors perfect little angel is not as innocent as she would like for her mother to think.

    1. Julie says:

      You can be sure that if there had been any “teasing or messing around” with the dog that you would have heard about it. The likliest explanation is that the dog thought the little girl was on her (the dog’s) turf since it runs over to the Gernhardts yard unleashed all the time. That right there should tell you that the owners aren’t exactly responsible.

      1. Jim says:

        “The likliest explanation is that the dog thought the little girl was on her (the dog’s) turf since it runs over to the Gernhardts yard unleashed all the time. TThat right there should tell you that the owners aren’t exactly responsible.”

        Stop making stuff up, “Julie” (“Maria,” “Greg,” “BG,” etc.) You’ve already admitted you were not there, and that all the “information” you are providing is either hearsay (told to you by the Gernhardts) or invention. Personally, I know neither the Gernhardts nor the Kimballs. However, after reading all the inane, accusatory posts here from the Gernhardts’ supporters–basically slandering the family of a child with brain cancer–I know which side I don’t believe.

      2. Julie says:

        @Jim: It doesn’t really matter what you think or any of us for that matter since a judge will be the one to decide. Good night.

    2. JR says:

      Danny, The dog owners do not say the girl was teasing the dog so why are you? How can you blame a little girl instead of the dog owners? And it was not a nip, it was most of her nose ripped off her face. I think attacking the character of a young girl who was attacked makes you a very sad person.

      1. misstt says:

        In all actuality, she received 2 stitches and the hospital called it a laceration, not a dog bite

  13. Erin says:

    Whether or not people intend to provoke animals is irrelevant, I don’t think people should have to live their lives in fear of whether unintentional body language will get them attacked (as I believe was probably the case here). It is the owner’s job to keep their animals under wraps. Parents should keep their children safe. Things happen — owners trust their dogs too much, parents don’t think a dog will lunge at their child and thus don’t keep their children far enough away — my family owns a mixed breed from the pound, sweetest dog ever, except when she sees black men, especially wearing baseball hats. When one of my friends stopped by one day, she nearly attacked him. Our theory is that she was abused before we adopted her. So far, it is the only aggression we’ve seen besides barking at the mailman. But animals are unpredictable and don’t have the same “think before acting” training that we get as humans. I don’t think whether the dog should be put down is anyon’e business but the authorities who have been trusted with making the decision. Whatever the outcome, if these people get their dog back, hopefully they will make good decisions from here on out about who they expose her to. There are special collars that can be bought to keep dogs from pulling too hard on their leashes, there are fences that can be built and muzzles that can be worn… in the end, it was obviously nobody’s intention to get this little girl hurt, so attacking one or both families for this is absurd.

    1. Eric Myers says:

      @Erin: Very good post. Thanks for posting

  14. Annie says:

    I grew up with a German Shepard who was never professionally trained. The only time she ever “attacked” anyone was when someone threatend us (her owners). German Shepard are protective of the people who take care of them. Was the kid messing with Molly? idk…all I know is most dogs dont attack unless provoked or are trained to attack. I think it’s horrible this little girl is going to loose her companion. If they feel the dog is a danger, put up a fence and keep a muzzle on it in public. Besides, why let your kid around a dog who you say “nipped” your other kid. I’d keep my kids away from it….so why werent you watching your kid?

    1. BG says:

      Annie – the dog ran into the little girl’s yard. The owner ran out after it to put on it’s leash. The girl didn’t want to gho anywhere near the dog but the owner kept telling her it was a nice dog and she should pet it. Even with that, she kept away. Then it lunged. So if anything, the dog’s own owner did the provoking. The little girl should be allowed to feel safe in her own yard.

  15. rtg says:

    The Kimballs need to put up a 6-foot fence along with having Ava professionally trained. The article said Ava bit the boy a year ago, but since Ava is only 14 months old now, I’m guessing that was no more than a puppy play nip. Regardless, she needs to be trained by a professional. Shepherds are great service dogs, but like all service dogs, they need training.

    People like Dee are not helping at all, that kind of nonsense just makes matters worse. A child was bitten by a dog in her own yard, a child that is allergic to dogs and wasn’t messing with the dog. I love dogs, but if a dog bites, steps need to be taken to protect the neighborhood, like putting up a fence and having the dog trained. No dog should be allowed to run, which is what caused the situation in the first place.

  16. rh says:

    I blame the dog’s owner, it is COMPLETELY insane to let out a dog into the community that has bitten before. My friend’s dog “ran out of her car” and bit a neighbor walking by. Police report and ER visit, no stitches, but still my friend had to add a “dangerous pet” rider to her home insurance, $10,000 fee per year!

    The fact is the mother was very cavalier about the dog, that it “wouldn’t bite” and the girl “shouldn’t be afraid”. She is NOT a responsible owner, and sadly her daughter CANNOT have a service dog without having a responsible adult.

    Not to say the dog shouldn’t be put down, in this and in many pit bull cases as well, the owner should be fined and not allowed to have pets or service animals.

  17. Andy says:

    Has anyone stopped to think that maybe the Kimballs are so overcome by their daughter’s cancer that they’re not thinking clearly? It sounds to me like this couple can only see things as they relate to their daughter and her cancer. It seems they’re grasping at straws to keep this dog because it makes their daughter happy and no other reason; the safety of others be damned.

    1. JR says:

      Andy, You have this 100% correct. I understand having a sick child must be difficult and I’m sure Molly will be upset to lose her pet but it doesn’t mean you can endager the rest of the community.

      1. Jacq says:

        How is the rest of the community being endangered?! The dog was LEASHED. This is bad parenting. I was a bad parent 5 days ago when I let my 3 yr. old daughter pet my neighbor’s LEASHED dog and walked away from my kid because I was too busy doing other stuff. After 2 min.s that 80+ pound cute dog that I’ve known and loved for the last few years attacked my kid. I’m the only one to blame. I now know, after that terrible incident, that no matter how big or small a dog, you cannot leave a child alone with it – for that child’s safety and for the dog’s safety.

      2. Maria says:

        @jacq: The community is being endangered because the dog’s owners a) are claiming it’s a service dog so they bring it into stores, etc. and b)obviously can’t control the dog since Molly Kimballs mother was holding the leash from eight feet away when it lunged and attacked Isabelle.

      3. Andy says:

        I can understand that the Kimballs feel like having the dog removed is adding insult to injury: their daughter is gravely ill and now her beloved dog is taken away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give them the right to pass off a pet as a service dog and keep it after displaying aggressive behavior and doing damage to another girl’s face. If the Kimballs were smart they would voluntarily remove the dog and have it placed in another home before the judge rules to have it destroyed (even if the other family isn’t looking for that outcome, it’s not in their hands). Most likely the Kimballs homeowner’s insurance will drop them or the rates will skyrocket to a prohibitive amount anyway. In the meantime they can find another dog as a companion for their daughter or a true service dog if that’s what they need. If they wait for the judge’s decision it may be too late to spare Ava’s life.

  18. bill groce says:

    there is alot here i dont understand 1 a service dog must be of calm nature 2 a service dog is trained first to ignore other people and distractions 3 if this is a service dog it should have been with molly I have a service dog and it never leaves my side it will lay on the floor at my feet in a busy restaraunt and unless i move it will ignore everything my dog has biten one person in his life but that was because he pushed me out of my wheelchair and kicked me that is the only accepable excuse for a service dog to react agressivly is protecting its owner so if molly was in the house then the dog has just flunked out of service dog training i feel bad for molly but she needs a different service dog

    1. Inphinity says:

      I agree with you, however, what you have to realize is that there is no federally recognized standard for service animal training, only guidelines. There are a lot of issues with this case – the dog was leashed, the child was young and it is unclear what the child was doing at the time, there should be a distiniction between service animals and service animals “in training.” I think the parents of the child, after having been on notice that this animal may not be child friendly as there was a previous incident, should have been more vigilent in watching their child and the animal should receive professional training as it clearly has some issues either with aggression or simply playing too rough. Both parties bear a degree of responsibility in this incident and i feel for both of them and hope they can work things out.

  19. Peggi says:

    This is a Service Dog and other children should be taught to respect that and to STAY AWAY from it. As much as I love dogs, I would never attempt to pet or otherwise distract a Service Dog. Sorry the one little girl got hurt but this is clearly a case of bad-parenting. Mrs. Liz Gernhardt should have clearly taught her daughter better. Give Ava back her dog.

    1. JR says:

      Peggi, The little girl was hiding away in fear of the dog and did not go anywhere near the dog. Liz has taught her children to stay away from dogs especially this one. The dog came onto Liz’s property unleashed. The girl did nothing to provoke or egg on the dog. The dog has lunged at other children and can not be trusted. I don’t think its a case of bad parenting but a case of a delusional dog owner and bad training of the dog.

      1. BBD says:

        You are absolutely right. Some owners of dogs are delusional and value the dog over people.
        There was a dog biting on faletti in laate March where the dog bite the adult daughter and she had over 200 stitches in her face. and several nights in the hospital. This was the second time the dog attached the girl and mauled her face < Both times required plasic surgery.
        The dog has bite other people. What about the neighborhood families ,what if this dog breaks off the leash. Doesn't the town care about its taxpayers, Or do they only care about people that know people in the police department and board of health.

    2. mj says:

      No one tried to pet the dog. The dog came into the little girl’s yard and attacked her. She’s allergic to dogs. She was hiding behind her mother when the dog attacked her. You weren’t there and you have no idea what this child has been taught. Take some lessons in psychology. Everyone always tries to blame the victim. Why was this dog not attended to adequately. After living with a dog a year, just like living with a human being, these owners should know well enough what the character of the dog is to avoid having him around young kids.

    3. Maria says:

      @Peggi: The Kimballs aren’t claiming that Isabelle provoked or even pet the dog so why are you?

    4. Jacq says:

      JR, the story CLEARLY says the dog was LEASHED at the time. While I know better to not believe everything I read I find it hard to believe that the article would clearly state that a LEASHED dog attacked a child when it isn’t true. You should get your facts straight. My daughter was attacked by a LEASHED dog FIVE DAYS AGO and the only person to blame is MYSELF. I should have been watching my daughter, plain and simple. Luckily for my kid, she only had scratches on her body and I was able to save her before the 80+ pound dog bit her. As parents we ALWAYS need to be aware of what our kids are doing and what they are playing with. Dogs will be dogs and all dogs are unpredictable. All animals are unpredictable.

      1. JR says:

        I do have my facts straight. Sorry I wasn’t clear. The dog originally came onto the property unleashed. Then the owner ran over and put a leash on the dog. At that point, the owner was telling the girl not to be afraid and come pet the dog but the girl wouldn’t. At that point is when the dog on a leash attacked the girl.

      2. Jacq says:

        WHERE WAS HER MOTHER AND/OR FATHER!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Look, believe me when I say I really feel for this little girl, but I feel like the only people to blame are her parents. The only person I blamed when my kid was attacked was myself. I have grown from my experience and I know more than ever that WHILE OUTSIDE I MUST FOCUS 100% OF MY ATTENTION ON WATCHING MY CHILD.

      3. BG says:

        Jacq – her mother was standing right there! The little girl was hiding behind her mother’s legs, and yet the dog still lunged. Just because you think you were a bad parent doesn’t automatically make this parent one too.

      4. Jacq says:

        BG, let me make something very clear – I am a great mother. I have sacrificed my career, vacations, and any other want or desire I have to be a mother and stay home with my daughter. I was a bad parent for a few minutes and that could have ended my child’s life. Nobody wants to say what’s on their mind – her mother is at fault. I find it hard to believe this child was hiding behind her mother’s leg and the mother wasn’t injured by the dog. Come on people! The parents want someone else to blame. Take the dog away from the girl with cancer but don’t kill it? If this was 100% the leashed dogs fault why would those parents want that dog to live. It’s obvious we’re not getting the entire story here. Mom is obviously feeling guilty, as I did, 5 days ago when I let my child out of my site for a minute or two while she was petting our neighbor’s 80+ pound dog and he attacked my little girl. Now I know better – while my neighbor’s dog has always been cute, friendly, loving, etc. – he’s still an ANIMAL.

    5. JustMe says:

      This is NOT a service dog…it is IN TRAINING to become a service dog. The bad parenting is not on the victims part, but on Molly’s side. That dog is obviously NOT a good candidate to be service dog, it was a pet, it acted agressively, let the chips fall where they may.

  20. Brad says:

    From my investigations in the pass. Many times it is the child at fault due to being abusive towards the animal in the past. So from the comments the mother of the little girl bitten, it would seem this is the case. Parents over look things their kids do as minor or innocent, but they forget to think what if that was another kid and not an animal their child is swinging that stick at. What people forget animal do not forget pass abuse by a person and they will attack if felt threatened. So the question should be if the little girl is aggressor and the dog felt it had to defend itself. Oh thats right, if a guy robs 10 banks and then walks into his own bank and then for attempting rob that bank, his is innocent of any wrong doing. That is what will be said in this case.

    1. JR says:

      The girl did not provoke the dog. The Kimballs have NEVER accused the girl of provoking the dog.They have never said that the girl did anything but hide away playing “peek-a-boo.”

    2. Irene says:

      The child did NOT provke the dog and is NOT the agressor in this case..Both families agree on that..Or maybe you are aware of some hidden facts that eighter family knows about..

    3. Karla says:

      Thank you Brad for pointing this out. I have 2 dogs that have NEVER been aggressive to anyone (adult or child)they were raised to be protective of children and love the attention of petting. That is until a family with 2 small children (ages 5 & 7) moved in behind us and they would hang over the back fence into MY yard and tease my dogs and get them all worked up and barking. They would do this all day while I was at work and then the parents of these kids would call animal control and tell them there were 2 dogs barking no stop in my yard. I became friends with animal control long before these people moved in since I was in a small town and work in customer service for the local utility company. I even allowed animal control access to my yard where the dogs were kept, and when they showed up the dogs were quiet and the kids were not outside. The officer could not get the dogs to bark even walking up to the fence the dogs just looked at her. I found out what the kids were doing when I stayed home from work one day and caught the kids red handed terrorizing my dogs over the fence. I yelled at the kids and the mother came out and I yelled at her. I told her next time the police will be at HER house. I sold my house and moved shortly there after. Now my dogs bark when ever anyone is outside in the other neighbors back yard. It is taking a lot of retraining but it is getting there. We do not know what these kids did to this dog to make it act like that. The dog was protecting its self and its owner the only way she knows how.

  21. Dave says:

    Hi Everyone, figured i would comment. I have known Molly and her family for a long time now, I have known Ava since she arrived at there house when she was 8 weeks old. Just so everyone has some facts to comment on, Ava is being trained by a trainer that comes to the house. I know that Ava is still in training, I know because i’ve seen it, also I know that the trainer requires a muzzle for Ava when out in public areas, not as a punshment for Ava, but as a required safety measure. Ava is still being trained. Even worse is that Molly was not even outside when this incident happened, only Mr & Mrs Kimball, Mrs. G and the child. Mrs. G has told three different reporters three totally different accounts of what happened, and still no one there saw what happened, for all we know the girl punched Ava. I also know that the Kimballs were the ones that helped the girl after this happened and the mother was to busy being hysterical to help her own daughter, Ava wasn’t even taken away until 7 days after the incident … seems no one felt Ava was a danger to anyone

    1. Shelby Jackson says:

      Service Dogs do not require muzzles out in public whether they be in training (“a required safety measure?” Has this dog already had other incidents besides these two?) or already in use. This is rather fishy.

      1. AmyChris says:

        I train service dogs and they DO require both a soft muzzle and a vest identifying themselves as service dogs if they are out of the house.

    2. Maria says:

      @Dave: if Ava requires a muzzle, then why wasn’t she wearing it?
      Mrs. Gernhard did not give three different accounts to three different reporters. She spoke to them at length and the news programs edited the interviews the way they sought fit. I personally have copies of the text messages from Mrs. G as she was on her way home from the hospital that day and her story did not change one iota, because she’s telling the truth. The Kimballs are the ones that appear to be twisting the truth. Why do they keep saying the Mr. Kimball was holding Ava’s leash when he was in his own backyard at the time?

      1. Maria says:

        I meant “saw fit”, not “sought fit”.

    3. Irene says:

      @ Dave
      All that you said is fine..excapt Ava was out without her muzzle..Yes evident..
      In her neighbors yard..As her family did not have a fenced in yard..
      And baddly bit a young child in her own back yard..No matter if the young girl punched the dog in her face as you said…If the dog was in her own fence in yard could it happen at all..Avas owner are luckey that this happened to the child in a calm and law abiding family..know what I mean.. Oh and DAVE lets see how calm you would be if you were that childs mother with her faced ripped open and bleeding..My Grandson was sererly burned and in Holy Name Emergency and my son and daughter in law called me to come because they needed someone calm..See how calm you will be with you child screaming for help and saying stop the pain and I will be good111

    4. Maria says:

      So even though the Kimballs are not saying that Isabelle punched or provoked Ava, you feel it’s your duty to throw that out there, huh? If you’re going to defend your friends, don’t you think you should at least stick to the story that they’re telling, which is that Ava was trying to “kiss” Isabelle and her jaws accidentally clamped down on her face?

    5. Jeepers says:

      You weren’t there either, so why should you be believed?.

    6. JR says:

      The Kimballs are not accusing the girl of provoking the dog and never have. So nobody should jump to that conclusion. In fact the girl is allergic to dogs and was afraid of this dog and was hiding behind her mother 8 feet away.

      The only reason Ava wasn’t taken away from them immediately was that the people at the Board of Health were not following NJ state law in removing the dog.

      You cannot trust a dog after it bites. I don’t understand why nobody is worried about the dog turning on Molly. Wouldn’t that be much more tragic than the dog being taken away?

      1. AJ says:

        It is odd that the dog was removed by the board of health so quickly.
        Also in March a dog bite a RiverVale woman for the second time in the face.Over two hundred stitches were required and two nights in the hospital.
        This was the second attack on the young woman, who still lives at home, by the dog.The fist time her lip was ripped and also needed plastic surgery.
        tWO ATTACKS,TWO POLICE AND HOSPITAL REPORTS,The dog also has bitten other people but no reports.The dog remains, I guess you need to know people at the board of health to keep your vicious dog..
        Watch out Faletti children.

  22. Leah says:

    I’m confused – how would a dog “in training” to be a service dog be already living with an assigned family? That makes zero sense. This can’t possibly be a service dog or even a companion dog, that’s not how the program works.

    1. Shelby Jackson says:

      The dog doesn’t have to be in a program to be in-training to be a Service Dog. Private owner/handlers can train their own dogs or hire a trainer to do so without the assistance of a Service Dog organization. However, a dog with a bite history would not be a suitable SD candidate!

      1. AmyChris says:

        I agree, like i said in a previous comment, i train service dogs, and it is a wonderful rewarding program- BUT there are dogs who are NOT suitable for being service dogs and it sounds like Ava would not have made it in the program I am with. A service dog can’t be agressive at all, even resource guarding is a reason not to “graduate” a dog. Molly parents I think should have reached out to a service dog orginaztion, if money is an issue (because it can cost up to 20 K for a service dog) they help you fundraise to get one.. I believe in service dogs, but there are some who just should be left as pets.

    2. JR says:

      Sounds like a companion dog or a glorified pet to me.

  23. Becky says:

    Most of you people writing comments do NOT have nearly all the facts. The Kimballs refused to fill out a police statement but yet call the media (should raise some questions). Also, local Animal Control are the ones going after the dog, NOT the Gernhardt’s. Also, the girl was standing about 8 feet away and refused to pet the dog when asked by the dog’s owner. She was not at all provoking the dog, but keeping a clear distance and staying quiet. ( maybe the dog sensed her fear, who knows) What makes this so unbelievable, is that yes a good dog in this situation should NOT by any means attack like this. As far as the Mother of the victim, She did not welcome the dog over to her property, and trusted the owner would properly handle the dog. Especially since when it nipped her son in Nov. the owner apologized and said she would hold the leash tighter and better. After this latest incident, other neighbors have come forward to the police and animal control with incidents they have witnessed this dog acting out of control and previous stories of it lunging at another young child and a few other dogs as well. Had the Mother of this latest victim known all of this before hand, I would think she would have sent her daughter in the house as soon as she saw the dog on their property, ask the neighbors to leave as soon as they caught their dog, but also try and insist they properly handle this dog and get a fence and keep it away from others.
    Also, for crazy arguments sake, if the dog was actually being provoked while on a leash with the owner, why on earth would the owner of the dog remain there?! People are saying this is a service dog or at least one in training, it seems clear that regardless of the details this dog should NOT be a service dog for a child.
    The town/animal control who is going after the dog (again not the Gernhardts) has medical proof and police statements that it was an attack and that there is previous concerns as well. That alone should show you people that this in not your typical dog!

  24. Irene says:

    First of all, the dog got loose out of its own yard and was on the neighbors property..the little girl got bitten in HER OWN YARD by the neighbors dog..The owner chased the dog down and placed her on the leash..The dog was also on the neighbors property when her son was nipped. SO #1. Keep your dog in your yard especially when it has a problem with your neighbors children and do not let her escape. #2 Those children are small and afraid of the dog they do not provoke her!!! It is their fear that makes the dog agressive with them..I have had all kinds of dogs all my life. I even had 2 pit bulls in my home while I watched my grandsons every day after school. Never having an insident with child or animal. But if I had a child in my home who was afraid of my pits and some of my neices were when they were small because they were never really exposed to those dogs..and rumer of their nature scared them..I would always make sure that the dogs were not exposed to the frightned children to they exposed to the dogs.they would be gated for the day in the laundry romm their room..That is all you had to tell them Go to your room and they knew where to go. Lts face it dogs bite..every dog can bit under the right condidtions.its their defence..and they are pack animals after all..Jus as all pack animals couer the weak in their pack..dogs smell the FEAR in small children and can become agressive..THIS IS THE TOTAL TRUTH ask any dog trainer..all dogs can be agressive when they smell FEAR. Even though the dog bite her daughter the neighbor does not want the dog put down..she only wants her home and yard a safe haven for her children as you want yours to be!!!!

  25. JOHN says:

    Did these parents watch their children to make sure that they did not get too close to the dog? Perhaps these 2 children were teasing the dog-their parents should teach them that you do not tease animals.I think that there is more to this story.I hope that the other child will be able to have her dog returned to her,and that the judge will not order it to be euthanized.

  26. Doggone Tired Of It says:

    I love how many “Philadelphia Lawyers” come out of the woodwork with these articles here. Face it people, no one has all the facts here. You are just going off what the article states.. Why don’t you wait until all the facts are clear before you make your judgements.

    1. Scooby Doo says:


      Recause rat rould rake rense!

  27. Eric Myers says:

    Isabelle has always been scared of the dog and keeps away from the dog. The dog escaped from the yard and went next door to the neighbors. Molly’s mother, Patricia chased the dog and put a leash on the dog. At that time, Isabelle and her mother were 8 feet away chatting with Patricia. Patricia was explaining that Ava was friendly and Isabelle should not be scared of her. Isabelle was 8 feet away on her own property cowering behind her mother. At that point, Ava lunged forward and bit Isabelle in the face which required 100 stitches and left permanent scars on the 6 year old victim.

    The Gernhardt’s simply do not want the dog living next door any longer and that is understandable. Molly should get a true Service Dog and this dog should be reassigned.

    1. Jim says:

      Great bit of creative writing there, Eric. If I may offer a humble suggestion for when you revise:

      “Isabelle was 8 feet away on her own property cowering behind her mother.”

      How could a dog, on “a leash” and “8 feet away,” lunge forward in such a way as to bite, with some force, a child “cowering BEHIND her mother”? Might I suggest you change the details to “5 (or fewer) feet away” and “cowering before her mother”? While it still won’t be true, at least it will be believable!

      1. Greg says:

        @Jim – I’ll clarify. The child was not directly behind her mother. She was behind her with regard to distance, so she was in direct line of site with the dog. Also, a point that wasn’t made is that she has scars under her chin and from her forehead down to the tip of her nose. The dog did not just scratch her accidentally. He opened his mouth wide and bit down, using the leverage of his lower jaw under her chin to rip her nose open with his upper jaw all the way down to the cartilage. I’m not sure why you would say “it still won’t be true” with such certainty, but I’ve personal seen the injuries, witnessed the emergency procedures and heard the surgeon’s professional opinions on the matter.

  28. mezzomomma says:

    It’s likely the dog was provoked. Since the dog also “nipped” the girl’s brother it makes me think the neighbor children teased and/or made threatening gestures toward the dog or her owner. Also, the mother’s description of her child being “tied down” so the doctors could sew up her wound sounded like a lie. Usually a child who needs that many stitches in her face, and is only six-years-old, would have been given a sedative. If she was made to endure the stitching without one, then I wonder if Mommy and Daddy will sue the hospital for malpractice……

    1. Irene says:

      You are wrong..they DO NOT sedate a small child in an emergency sistuation..this I know from personal sedate a child a special enestist has to be called..because of a childs size and body weight sedatives can KILL them..even to admister a intrevenios pain killer..they have to call a special pedric nurse who intibates small children their veins are small and thin and can be punctured//it is standard practice to treat small children while un sidated!!!!!by your comment I know that you have never taken a small child to and emergency room for service!!!!!

    2. Greg says:

      @Irene – Thank you for your informed opinion.
      @mezzomomma – I was there at the hospital for this procedure. It was the application of the novocaine or other med they used to numb her nose that was the most painful part. I heard this poor little girl’s screams. Repeatedly, over and over. I heard her voice ask right in the middle of it “Is it done yet?” I sat there crying like a baby waiting for it to be over, but it continued. I saw the parents and felt their pain. I’m sad that it sounds like a lie and that a person telling a story with tears in their eyes could appear to be a professional grade actor.

      1. Maria says:

        They didn’t sedate Isabelle because she had eaten that morning and didn’t want to risk aspiration.
        I was brought to tears when my son had to be held down for a shot of penicillin. I can’t imagine what it felt like for Isabelle’s mom.

      2. Jim says:

        Greg and others keep posting over and over again that they were eyewitnesses to the event, that they can vouch for the Gernhardt’s, etc. If all these people were actually there, they would have been able to stop the leashed dog from attacking a girl “8 feet away” and “cowering behind her mom.” Quite frankly, though, I think this is an example of friends of the Gernhardts–or maybe the Gernhardts themselves–posting lies again and again in a pathetic attempt to explain away both their own negligence, and how this negligence has impacted the cancer-stricken daughter of the Kimballs. Pretty sad stuff–note that the Kimballs themselves haven’t been posting (and posting and posting) here in their own defense…probably too busy trying to keep their daughter from dying. Hope the Gernhardts can live with themselves…..

      3. Julie says:

        @Jim: It’s pretty sad that the Kimballs are using their daughters illness to justify keeping a dangerous dog in the neighborhood. I hope that I never have to go through what the Kimballs are going through with Molly, but there are other options. If the dog gets put down it’s the fault of the Kimballs. They should just get Molly another dog and give Ava to another family so that Molly can visit and know that she’s ok.

  29. R.R. says:

    Yeah, Dee, another DUMB ANSWER from you, you keep trying to make your point that all animals are angels, and all humans are animals… NOT. Love the animals myself, but my experience is that they are still animals, not your “little innocent angels”, and can be unpredictable and dangerous. I have been attacked by a large dog (do not know the breed) when I was a little girl riding a merry-go-round in the park (I did not see the dog coming for me, never saw it before or after, so never had a chance to “properly interact” with it first). It just lunged at me, dragged me off the merry-go-round, and tried to bite, but my thick winter coat protected me, and my father intervened right away, yelled at the dog and pulled it off me, and the beast ran away. So, what would be your educated guess – what did I do to provoke a dog which I have never seen before it attacked me? I certainly did not feel your touted “unconditional love” from an animal at that moment… You do sound mildly delusional, with your rabid animal defense – they are animals, and are guided by their instincts, and in some cases those instincts are dangerous for people around.

    1. Seymore says:

      RR, I believe you are delusional b/c you were bitten or attacked…perhaps did you ever think that that dog was rabid? Usually when there ia an attack from an unfamiliar animal the animal is rabid or sick…that being said…I have mix feeling..prehaps the dog was either provoked or protective……Has the dog ever bitten other children in the neighborhood? Seem like the next door neighbors were the only one…Tends to make me wonder what really happened

      1. Greg says:

        @Seymore – The neighbors did not have a fence up for this past year (oddly they have just put up a fence while the dog has been away). As experts will tell you, once a dog has been running about on a neighbor’s property, he or she then treats it as they own territory. This is probably part of why the dog was being protective and the neighbor child couldn’t avoid seeing that dog so much of the time. This dog has lunged at one other child I am aware of and multiple other dogs, but the odds would make it that it is the immediate neighbors that would be attacked.

  30. LoveMyDog says:

    We had a similiar incident happen to us when we had our German Shepherd. She was fine until the neighbor’s boy next door felt compelled to constantly provoke our dog, growling like a monster and raising a stick at her like he was either going to throw it at her or beat her with it. His mother always let her children run around unattended and unsupervised. Then one day, my two daughters were sitting on the porch with our dog and this kid walked by, and our dog finally lunged at hm. He freaked and told his mother, who immediately rushed him to the emergency, She was ready to have our dog put down! While they were getting ready, I knocked on their door to let her know that our dog had had all of her shots. When they got back from the ER, I asked the boy where our dog had bittten him and he said it was on his arm. He called it a “scratch bite.” So I asked to look at it and he showed me the place. I saw absolutely nothing! I’m just wondering what the people in the ER told his mother. Whatever it was, she wasn’t saying.

    1. Greg says:

      @LoveMyDog – There’s lots one can speculate about when they cannot personally witness an incident, but in this case you can refer to the following version of the article to confirm from a photo that this particular child’s injury is not a “scratch bite” –

  31. Bell Toller says:

    This family needs to sue as this is a blatant violation of this girls civil rights.

    1. mezzomomma says:

      Where in the Constitution does it say people are protected from animals? You are waaaaaay off base here. There is NO civil rights violation.

      1. Irene says:

        NO but in the Constution it does afford people should be able to protect their lives and property. This incident happened on the neighbors property..
        ON THEIR own property..You have to know the facts of an incident before you comment..This did not happen in the dog owners yard it happened in the neighbors yard..If some broke into your house could you use force to protect your self and family..YES

  32. sawnetbean says:

    Animal lovers please read the article before you write your inane comments. thank you.

    1. Jim says:

      I’m sure they’ve all read it just find. For instance, the article says this:

      “Molly’s parents said it was an accidental collision between the LEASHED dog and the child.”

      How the heck could the victim’s parents be so negligent and/or stupid as to allow their kids to play with a leashed dog, especially one that supposedly had “nipped” the son just last year? Speaking as a parent, there’s absolutely NO excuse for this. If anything, they are the ones that deserve to be “put down.”

      1. Greg says:

        @Jim – The dog treated the neighbor children’s property as it’s own. They were not made to play with the dog, didn’t play with the dog, and were terrified of the dog. Are you saying the parents were negligent for letting the children attempt to play in their own yard? The child was beckoned by the owner’s mother to come pet the dog. She refused to pet the dog and the dog reacted to the child’s fear. The mother holding the leash did not have a strong grip and the dog pulled further than normal to bite down on the girl’s face.

      2. JR says:

        How dare you say the parents deserve to be put down. Jim, I think you should put your face in Ava’s mouth and play peek-a-boo and then tell me its not a big deal when your face is ripped off.

  33. Eddie Drumz says:

    The dog no doubt was provoked and/or protecting its mistress. What kind of mother does not watch their kids? People are so stupid. The dog doesn’t need training–its the human beings who need training and know how to act around animals, Liz you are no mother and have failed at parenting by failing to teach your children well. German Shepherds are among the nicest family dogs and it had to be provoked or just doing its job.

    1. Greg says:

      @Eddie – The children were taught to stand still like a tree with their hands at their sides. When she was being taking to the hospital, the child cried “But mommy, I stood like a tree just like I was supposed to.” In addition, as a child I was afraid of dogs. There were a few types I had met that were cognizant of this and were gentle with me and their owners. But the one type of dog that always reacted to my fear and came after me were German Shepherds.

  34. Bob Henke says:

    Anonymous, and Eric should live together, and write articles for A H–es are us.

    The dog was leashed, how long is a dog leash, an accidental collision sounds likely with children playing in the yard with a dog present, that is on a leash.
    The mother, who wasn’t there sounds like she is looking to make a quick buck

    1. Greg says:

      @Bob – Name calling here is inappropriate. Have you never seen a person holding a dog on a leash get pulled from where they were standing? And I want to reiterate that the scars are from the teeth on the lower jaw of the dog grabbing under the chin and the teeth on the upper jaw dragging down from the forehead to the tip of the nose. Finally, the mother is not looking to make a quick buck; this is only a hearing to decide if the dog is vicious and the mother just doesn’t want the dog living next door.

  35. Bob says:

    Anonymous, and Eric should live together, and write articles for A Holes are us.

    The dog was leashed, how long is a dog leash, an accidental collision sounds likely with children playing in the yard with a dog present, that is on a leash.
    The mother, who wasn’t there sounds like she is looking to make a quick buck

  36. Bob Henke says:

    Ms Gernhardts children seem to be the only ones getting nipped by this dog, what are they doing to it.

    I agree with you

    1. Greg says:

      @Bob – They live directly next door and the dog was running into their yard and treating it as her own. It would appear that the dog felt protective of his territory.

  37. Wilhite says:

    Dogs are dogs. It’s the dog owners I worry about. They should be sued until they take better care of their dogs.

  38. birthmom1970 says:

    Having been an animal lover for close to a half century I must agree with Dee. The dog is a true companion for the little girl, to overcome her serious illness. Putting the dog down would mean certain death for the little girl. Dogs do not arbitrarily attack anyone unless provoked repeatedly and when they feel the person they are ”hired” to protect is in danger. Maybe this neighbor has not emphasized enough nor instructed her children to stay away from the dog, especially since her son allegedly was nipped by the same dog before. Have a heart people, do you want this little girl’s untimely demise on your conscience? The courts should show leniency in this case and allow the little girl to retain her beloved companion, perhaps stipulating the us of a muzzle to prevent further occurrences like this from happening.

    @Eric, think before you speak, and if you cannot say something that makes sense, it’s better to keep your mouth shut, unless you’ve been involved in a similar situation. But hey that’s just my opinion.

    1. Greg says:

      @birthmom – “Dogs do not arbitrarily attack anyone unless provoked repeatedly and when they feel the person they are ‘hired’ to protect is in danger.” Do you have a source for this statement? It is simply untrue. I have never in my life ever consciously provoked a dog yet been attacked multiple times. Sensible dog owners recognize safety concerns around an animal, as does the Humane Society if you read up on dog/human safety. Newborn babies have been mauled by dogs. What would you believe these babies were doing to provoke the dogs – breathing air?

  39. Joey Bagadonuts says:

    Just a tiny correction…

    “The Dog Whisperer” is Cesar Millan

    Cesar Romero was an actor who among his many roles will always be remembered for playing “The Jpker” on tv’s “Batman” in the 1960’s.

    1. Joey Bagadonuts says:

      oops…a type….”The Joker”

    2. Nickie Potato Salad says:

      Hey Joey, how’s Big Petey, Little Petey and Re-Petey?

  40. Emm says:

    The dog should definitely NOT be put down. I feel bad that the neighbors child was bitten but like someone else mentioned did you teach your child to stay way from the dog?

    1. Greg says:

      @Emm – Yes. The dog would run onto their yard and they would stand stock still. The dog was being territorial and reacting to their fear.

    2. Beth says:

      Speaking as a mother to a small child who has been charged by a large dog, it doesn’t matter of you teach them to stay away. Especially if they come on your property. My child has been charged twice by the same dog and not once was it provoked. These animals charged across traffic to come after my little girl and I.
      I feel for the little girl who is sick and may lose her dog, and I do not think that the animal should be put down. But it does need to be given to someone who can give it the room it needs to run and be a dog. I do not believe that the dog is a bad dog, it just needs someone who knows how to control it.

  41. Dee says:

    It is most unfortunate that HUMANS and CHILDREN must learn from EXPERIENCE and not advanced training of human & animal interactions and communications. I hold to my previous statements wholly. I do hope that these stories of Precious Ava and Molly – TEACH HUMANS to seriously get the TRAINING they clearly need and thereby PROMOTE loving interactions with animals – HUMAN training and understanding of animals IS the whole Solution !!!!

  42. I.H. says:

    I*d add here that the parents of the child should sue for both the cost and pain and suffering and a fine on the owners at the very least for not having a muzzle on the dog… This is not a vicious dog incident by all accounts and I suffered and had to have stitches too when I was a kid my mom felt the same way as the mom here but I learned something too…that just because the dog attacked me it wasn’t without cause and it didn’t deserve to die. The arrgument then was this was a mother dog and the pups would be unable to survive never mind I was no where near them I had been in their mothers territory…
    Here we have a kid who keeps herself alive because of the love the animal shows her…no one wants her to loose her will to live….

    but the real TRUTH is what is the truth as I see it this dog may not be a real threat but it still needs a MUZZLE when on a leash and out of doors and in a none secure fenced in area…I would still have an expert like Cesare Romero check the dog out first.

    1. Dee says:

      DUMB ANSWER !!!! My previous responses apply to you and ALL who sound like you. CESARE ROMERO would love to talk and teach all of ALL YOU HUMANS !!! Contact Cesare IMMEDIATELY !!!! Be sure to have YOUR MUZZLE ON when he arrives. Yes, YOUR training costs MONEY – so have your credit cards handy too. Yes, YOUR training is totally worth every cent – to PROTECT ALL ANIMALS from HUMAN VICIOUSNESS & STUPIDITY like yours. Folks LIKE YOU, are truly the PROBLEM. Come On, Invest in Yourself – You’re worth it for sure – Clearly You, NOT Ava or Dogs, have the greatest need for training !!! DARE YOURSELF to LEARN, GROW and PROMOTE understanding and loving relations between HUMANS and Animals Immediately.

      1. mezzomomma says:

        Cesare Romero was an ACTOR and is quite dead (I believe).

    2. Greg says:

      @I.H. – I believe it’s a possibility that the dog would be put down according to her designation and the law. The parents of the bitten child don’t want the dog put down. But this dog is less than two years old and has been with her for over a year I believe. True service dogs are trained for at least two years, which includes normally provoking situations in which they will not bite. Reassignment of this dog and giving the ill child a REAL service dog is a sensible answer.

    3. rtg says:

      First off, it’s Cesear Milan, not Romero. Secondly, the dog is quite young and probably could be a great service dog, if trained, which she hasn’t been. She should be given back to her kid, but only on the conditions that a 6 foot fence be erected to protect the neighborhood and that Ava is given professional training to be a real service dog. Young, high-energy dogs like Ava need a lot of exercise and training. You’re right, a muzzle while being walked wouldn’t hurt either.

  43. Beth says:

    My 9-year-old son was viciously attacked by three Rotts last year and very nearly died when they shook him around by the neck like a rag doll. These attacks are more common than people think, and German Shepards are among the most dangerous and unpredictable breeds. I can completely sympathize with this mother about hearing those screams. My son endured 3 hours of ER stitching because it’s too dangerous for a child in that situation to have general anesthesia. The localized shots all around the multiple bites were horrifically painful and his deep wounds had to be completely purged. I would have done anything to prevent his torture and trauma. Once a dog tastes blood, it’s over. Lock down or put down, those are the only two choices.

    1. gravi_tea says:

      That’s ridiculous. If that indeed happen to your child, you have my sympathies. However, in most cases of animal attacks, it is the human at fault not the animal. The owners were to blame not the dog. I was raised around “rotts”, “dobies” and Shepherds, and never once did they attack anyone, let alone me or the other young children who would hang all over them, pull their ears, attempt to ride them, fall asleep on them,. etc. My family’s first Shepherd saved my brothers life when he was around 2 or 3. In short, to paint all of the breed with the same dismissive and (quite frankly) myopic brush is an unfortunate and foolhardy thing to do. Dogs like that have not been man’s best friend for hundreds of years for no reason.

      1. Dee says:

        Ditto, Ditto – I totally agree with you 100%, gravi_tea. I too have owned all breeds of dogs big & small and I live in a community that, like myself, LOVE Dogs and all animals [Squirrels, Birds]. There are ALL breeds of dogs big and small – and there are NO BITING or ATTACK issues here – NONE !!! Why ? All residents and owners LOVE & RESPECT their and each others Dogs and, Cats. Where there are strays dogs and cats – we befriend them by feeding & trap and find them HOMES among neighbors and NO KILL animal shelters with follow-up to see them properly placed – get them Vet Medical Care, etc. My current best buddy is a 90 lb Pit Bull named Champ – the most loving dog I’ve ever known and loving from the first minute I saw him – he is my neighbor’s dog. I have nothing special – It is simply the “LOVE & RESPECT CONNECTION” between an every day human animal [me] and another animal [dog]. This is the same CONNECTION between Ava & Molly and Ava & Molly’s family – none of whom have ever been harmed by Ava !!!! So What did the neighbor kids do that put Ava is a ‘Protective’ or ‘Self Defense’ mode to REACT to them ??? The cause is in the behavior of the neighbor’s children. The true Problem here is the children’s Parents – Liz G – who lacks the Love, Respect and Compassion for her own children, herself, and her neighbors Molly & Molly’s Family which includes Ava. to learn, teach her own children how to Love, Respect with total compassion in their manner to interact, understand Ava and Molly Bond relationship, [and Molly’s medical condition] so to NOT be an additional BURDEN to Molly & her family which includes Ava !!!! Ava is INNOCENT !!!! Bring Ava Home o Molly Immediately !!!!

        So BRAVO !!!! You’re response, like Liz and other like minded WONDERFUL FOLKS, is GREAT !!! THANK YOU for sharing..

      2. Greg says:

        @Dee – Your attitude about this situation is insensitive and ill-informed. I believe almost everybody, except for people of the fringe, would agree that the Humane Society has the animals best interests in mind and even they know how dangerous dogs can be. This dog treated the child’s yard as if it was her own and probably reacted for protection of her territory and on the children’s fear. No amount of respect and compassion would have prevented this. I love animals and often find them to be more loyal, trusting, and loving than most humans. Plus they are not as delusional, stubborn, and fear-producing as humans like you can be.

      3. rtg says:

        In a way I agree with you, in another I don’t. This dog did indeed bite this girl in her own yard. Some breeds are more prone to attacking than others. Pitts & rotts have reallly bad raps because they don’t bite and leave, they don’t let go, which makes them extremely dangerous. Shepherds may bite more, but they don’t go for the kill. Regardless, Eva is not trained, and apparently her owners don’t take the necessary precautions such as fenciing her, having her professionally trained or even using a muzzle. I love shepherds but I realize that any young, energetic dog needs to be trained, period. You can’t blame a child for being in her own yard. This is the Kimballs fault for not taking the necessary precautions. I hope they get Eva back, but only if they comply with the necessary precautions, including professional training.

    2. Beth says:

      I totally agree that the owners were at fault in our case. My son was in our neighborhood riding his bike when he was attacked. He did NOTHING to provoke it as witnessed confirmed. We have dogs at home and my son could not understand how any animal could do this horrible thing to him… he kept wanting to know why they wanted to kill him. The owner was a grown man who stood by helplessly and watched this happen. He waited to get help because he was worried about his own liability. He even refused to call us even though my son called out the number and begged him to. Luckily we came looking for him soon after, but he almost died on the way to the hospital from loss of blood. If I could put the owner down, I would, but since I can’t, I need the neighborhood to be safe everyone. Once a dog has a bad owner and has attacked and drawn blood from someone, the chances are great that there will be repetitions. My sense in this story is that because the dog and the child had a good relationship and assumed he would behave the same toward any child, the parents let their daughter control her dog on his leash, which she was not capable of doing. Just a guess, but imagine how bad she must feel about the attack if she witnessed it. They should start over with a new dog, kids are resilient and she will adapt.

      1. Beth says:

        By the way, none of the three dogs in this case were put down. One was sent to the country and the other two remain with their owners who are mandated to keep them confined. Many of the neighbors were actually angry that we didn’t push to get the dogs put down. I have to reiterate that we are dog lovers but dogs are potentially dangerous and lethal, so they must remain under the control of their owners at all times. Dogs and children are entirely unpredictable, no matter how they make act around you. If your lovely, innocent teenager driver hit a kid who ran out in the street after a ball, you would still be liable whether or not the kid belonged in the street, because a car is a lethal weapon and you are the responsible party. The dog owners in our case let their dogs get away (one dragging its leash) and were unable to control them. My son’s life was endangered and he suffered deeply because of it. No one should choose a human life over an animal’s, no matter how much you may love them or who was negligent and at fault.

    3. M says:

      I’ve had dogs my entire life. My father had a preference for German Shepherds and while they’re very intelligent and loyal, they are unpredictable and I would never have one around my kids even though they never harmed me. The only dog that did bite me was an obnoxious Scottish terrier and I suppose I did provoke it.
      I know Isabelle and her brother personally and they would NEVER, EVER provoke a dog. In fact they would never go up to a dog. Ava is not a service dog and if she is, the certification should be revoked.

  44. I.H. says:

    By the way German Shepherds are known for their protectiveness toward their masters this dog sounds like it needs a Muzzle when outdoors and among other people it also sounds like it desperately needs training… get in the dog whisper and let him decide the case! it might be this dog isn’t service dog material and they need to get her one that can be.

    Animals even domesticated ones rely on instinct and reinforced behavior the fact that this animal nipped the neighbor kids heels asks the question when where and why did that happen also was the dog punished at the time? Why wasn’t the dog not muzzled when out in public if there was a history?

    Too many questions not enough answers….

  45. Eddie says:

    Liz Gernhardt said the dog nipped her sons nose last year . And of course she taught her kids not to put their face up to a dog. Well I guess not.

    1. I.H. says:

      Actually it says

      Gernhard said Ava nipped her son last year. She’s worried that the incidents will be repeated.

      it doesn’t say face and maybe I made an ass of myself assuming as you do with the face that is was the heels but its what I think of when I hear the word nipped…

      it also doesn’t say she taught them not to put their face near the dog either…

      1. Greg says:

        @I.H. – PLEASE do not say you made an ass of yourself. You are one of the more intelligent people on this thread.

    2. Julie says:

      Eddie, the dog nipped at her son’s cheek and Isabelle didn’t put her face near the dog. Where did you get that information?

  46. I.H. says:

    Something smells here the dog was leashed it was tied up before the incident happened did these kids come over to their neighbors yard without permission? Did they do something to the dog first? There are more questions then answers here the fact that they aren’t wanting the dog put down also begs the question WHY? If the dog really did attack without provocation its one thing but is the TRUTH here that they (the kids and like wise their parents by not supervising them} allow their children to try and harm the dog or trespass into the dogs home and there for domain… I was once attacked by a German Shepard her reason for attacking me was she had puppies and I who didn’t see them went to play on the neighbors swing… was I in the wrong even though I was a little kid…yes. Was she wrong for doing what any mom would do to defend her young from an intruder…No…At the time there was a heated debate, just as there is in this case now, I went to the hospital for claw marks to my back where she had knocked me down and I don’t remember if she bit me or not…when I learned why she who had never attacked me before had done so now I was for not punishing the dog but fencing in the area better… it wasn’t fenced before the incident…lets have the facts before we pass judgment.

    The girl needs her dog a muzzle outside the home when being walked is required where I live except on seeing eye-dogs. let the dog get trained…This seems a case of trespass and or not having the dog muzzled when out on a walk THE ANIMAL WAS LEASHED… I quote from the article…Molly’s parents said it was an accidental collision between the leashed dog and the child.

    What is the truth is what is important and also getting a muzzle might help.

    1. Liz says:

      I agree with you in regards to there is more to the story than what is being told.
      Humans (adult and children alike) are known to taunt or harass animals. I occasionally get it while out with my dogs and my dogs are yorkies (no they are not yappers.) Dogs get irritated just like humans and need to protect themselves just like humans.
      This we know, the dog was leashed. Why was that kid anywhere near this dog? What was she doing on the property near the dog? Please keep in mind I am not excusing the dogs attack on the child, this is tragic for both sides. If this dog nipped the brother of the victim and the parents feared that this would happen again, then what rules do the parents have in place to make sure their children stayed away from the dog?
      Did the parents of the victim see the “attack”? It sounds like they didn’t but Molly was there and did see it. So for the mother of the victim to declare it was a dog attacking a child but can only describe the detail of the emergency room visit, I think she did not witness the “attack.”
      Without a doubt the dog needs a muzzle and training but with Cesar Milan not Cesar Romero.
      Also, thank you Dee, you were spot on!

      1. Dee says:

        Thank YOU, Liz !!!! You’re ‘SPOT ON” as well !!!!
        and THANKS TO ALL who agree with Liz and I. I Love ALL Animals and People. And I KNOW ALL Animals Love Unconditionally Always !!! And Love IS the most POWERFUL Force on Earth !!!
        Blessings to you, Liz, and all always.

      2. Greg says:

        @I.H., @Liz – The dog was not leashed in either incident. These times and others I have personally witnessed, the dog would escape and run around the neighbor’s property. It probably began to think of it as her property. The children were indeed taught to stand still with hands at their sides and not provoke the dog. In this specific case, the dog was put on a leash and both mothers were present. The dog lunged and pulled away from the mother holding the leash. I am not sure the ill child was there, but both mothers were. The mother holding the leash was trying to encourage the girl to pet the dog, but she did not want to nor did she try.

  47. jhf says:

    The problem is that sometimes the dog becomes so protective of the handler (in this case the child) that s/he thinks it has to protect. As sad as it is, the dog should not be relied on as a service animal. Let it be a family pet with a close relationship to the little girl and just be careful with other children and animals. The dog was only doing what it knows, preotecting and safeguarding her mistress..

    1. Maria says:

      Except that Molly wasn’t there when Ava attacked Isbelle. Patricia Kimball, Molly’s mother, was holding the leash.

  48. james steven joseph says:

    that dog shouldn’t be around any stranger beside the owners and the children in their houses. the children in that neighborhood should be safe when they out side their door, and that dog should be away from there. I’m very sorry about the young brain cancer patient’s girl who lost the coustody of her helper dog there is no choice my dear that dog is too violant

    1. Dee says:

      JAMES – my reply to Eric is also in response to your STUPIDITY. The children is THAT NEIGHTBORHOOD and all neighborhoods should be TRAINED how to interact with animals – cats, dogs, hampsters, etc – by RESPONSIBLE and KNOWLEDGEBALE PARENTS who are trained themselves in human & animal interactions. The only VICIOUS STUPID ANIMALS ARE HUMANS. Teach yourselves or get training for yourselves – Adults and then teach the children. BTW, The Dog Whisperer is TRAINING HUMANS how to interact and communicate with Dogs !!! PAY ATTENTION when watching this program AND tell all young and old in THAT / YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD to do the same LEARN the BEAUTY in ALL GOD’S CREATURES both HUMAN & ANIMALS. Guess What, James & Eric, Lizzy Bordon – God Made US (Humans & Animals) ALL !!!!
      STOP WHINNING and GET ON BOARD !!!! DARE TO LEARN AND GROW for yourselves, your children and all animals. .

      1. AM says:

        @Dee: Humans in a neighborhood shouldn’t have to adjust their lifestyles and live in fear because of the animals in it. You don’t train humans to live around animals. Children aren’t objects. They’re human. It’s not automatically their fault when there is a an animal involved. This dog ran onto the neighbors property and bit the six year old girl living there. It’s unfortunate that Molly won’t get her pet back, but now that Ava attacked and severely hurt a little girl doing nothing but standing on her own lawn, you can’t trust this dog anymore to protect Molly. Molly could very well be Ava’s next victim, and you can’t take that risk.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I second Eric’s comment. This does not sound like an “accidental collision” between the dog and child; it sounds like the dog attacked the child, period. A dog who behaves in this manner is unpredictable and a potential threat to everyone around it. Molly’s parents should explain this to her and get a dog that has never demonstrated this kind of aggression.

  50. Eric Myers says:

    I feel very sorry for Molly, but that is no reason to allow a dangerous animal to stay in the neighborhood and possibly hurt other children in the future. They should get Molly a new dog that is safe for everyone.

    1. Maria says:

      Dee go take you meds and then get the facts before making inane comments. The dog was completely unprovoked and in fact, if you’re so keen to defend the dog why aren’t you using the Kimballs ridiculous explanation which is that Ava “accidentally” bit Isabelle because the choker collar forced her jaws to close? Not even the Kimballs are saying that Isabelle provoked her, so why are you?

    2. Greg says:

      @Dee – Name calling, the use of capitals, etc. You are a scourge to this thread. All others here, no matter their opinion, are reasonable. You on the other hand are belligerent and ill-informed. I am sensible. I love animals and recognize that most problems with them are caused by the way they were raised or treated. So that being said, it is the dog’s trainer and/or owner’s who should be responsible, not a child playing on their own lawn that is being taken over by a dog as her own territory. I’m sure you’ll resort to calling me names to, or you could take your on advice and educate yourself by reading more of what the Humane Society has to say.

    3. Greg says: – don’t see anything here about shifting responsibility to the victim

    4. Irene says:

      @ Dee
      It sounds as if you know Liz and her children elce can you call her Lizzy Bordon and her children brats. and it also sounds like you know ava and her family as well..but the fact is Ava was allowed loose to rhome around the neighborhood..and spent a lot of time in her neighbors yard..and if she was supposted to wear a mussle where was it…home where she sould have been.The owners of a dog are responsible to fence in their keep their pet on their own property..And if the dog bites that is also their responsbility..I feel sorry for their daughter because she is sick and is in need of a trained animal..but they should get their daughter a ligit Service dog and not try to train one that is not the proper nature animal..What is right is right and there is no one who can change that Ava was on the neighbors property and bit the neighbors child..Did you see the pictures of that childs face..And again i am going to say they are luckey that Ava bit a child is such a calm and law abiding family..Let me tell you I am not Lizzy Borden but if a dog ripped open my granddaughter face I would learn how to use a Axe.

      1. Carlie says:

        This is such a sad situation for all involved. Sadly if anyone is to blame it’s the organization that recommended a german shephard as a therapy dog in the first place. A german shephard must be handled by experienced families, and probably shouldn’t have been given to them until it was fully trained.

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