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La. Mom Says Pet Ferret Ate Baby’s Toes

December 20, 2006

BENTON, La. (AP) _ A woman jailed after four of her infant daughter’s toes were gnawed off says the family’s pet ferret did it, not their pit bull pup as police had said.

But her husband blames the dog, a city official said.

``The way the bite marks were on her foot, the ferret being out of its cage, I knew it wasn’t the dog,″ Mary Hansche told KTBS-TV on Tuesday.

The month-old girl was injured Dec. 10 as Hansche, 22, and her husband, Christopher Hansche, 26, slept; they woke up when they heard her crying. The parents were jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond each, booked with child desertion and criminal negligence.

The husband had blamed the dog and told police the ferret had been in its cage all night, Bossier City spokesman Mark Natale said Wednesday.

The charges wouldn’t change regardless of which pet was involved, Natale said, because the baby ``was injured by an animal while in the custody of the parents.″ The girl has been released from the hospital and is in state custody.

Attorney Pam Smart said she is waiting for results of a hair analysis to back up the couple’s statement that they were not using drugs, calling the case a ``very unfortunate accident.″

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