MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — An angel surrounded by a choir of stuffed animals atop a stone wall on Scott Street in McKeesport – designed to delight a child – not mark a newborn’s death.
“I hope they don’t file charges on her because they are such good people,” says next-door neighbor Ron Filo.
Brandi Furlong, 21, left her 2-day-old son, Howard, on the living room floor in a baby carrier. She went to use the bathroom and returned to find their pet Husky standing over her child.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner says the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head. He ruled the death accidental.
“We do believe wholeheartedly that it was only the Husky that was involved,” Dog Law Enforcement Officer Kenneth Ferree said.
The family has four dogs. The Husky is now in quarantine.
“It has shown aggression down here,” Ferree said. “That could be from what it has gone through.”
“Nico” is a one-and-and-a-half-year-old male. We found him thin, trembling, with his tail between his legs. He also has a recently broken right foreleg.
“Apparently they rescued this dog from the Craigslist website from Murrysville about two-and-a-half weeks ago.”
Ken Ferree, who owns a kennel, says what was going on inside the house on Scott Street was a recipe for disaster.
“And you throw in the factor of two new owners, brand new surroundings, three more dogs, a new baby, a broken leg – it’s almost like a ticking time bomb,” he said.
The baby’s family has already asked to have their dogs returned.
“This dog ain’t going anywhere until we find out from the courts, from the district attorney’s office what we need to do,” Ferree said.
Allegheny County Police tell me that they are working with McKeesport Police to find a local magistrate to have the dog put down.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s initial findings are that there were no crimes committed leading up to and contributing to the death of the baby, but the review is not yet complete.