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Ferret Chews Baby's Fingers: Mo. Parents Charged

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 22, 2011 9:50 AM

It's a bit out of the ordinary when a ferret chews fingers off of an infant, but for allowing just that to happen, Missouri parents Carrie and Ryan Waldo have been charged with first-degree child endangerment, a felony.

The incident, which occurred in January, originally appeared to be an accident. But after an investigation and a peek into the couple's cell phone records, it was readily apparent to law enforcement that something more akin to neglect had occurred.

For those not familiar with this ferret-chews-fingers story, in January, Carrie and Ryan Waldo called 911 after finding that their pet ferret had eaten 7 of their infant's fingers.

They had claimed that they were asleep when they heard the baby's cries, reports the Kansas City Star.

Through documents submitted to the court, the paper reports that, via cell phone records, law enforcement found this to be untrue. The couple had sent text messages and made calls from locations outside their home while the attack took place.

The Waldos also reportedly lied to police about the ferret's history, which a local rescue organization claims had bitten the child twice before, according to Reuters.

The fact that the pair is now being charged with child endangerment is not surprising. Even if they didn't leave the child alone as prosecutors allege, allowing an animal to remain in the house after it had twice bitten a child is directly contrary to the child's safety.

So if you learn anything from Carrie and Ryan Waldo, it's that, in order to prevent a situation as horrible as the ferret-chews-fingers incident, and to avoid risking prosecution, parents need to remove animals from their home the first time they show any aggression towards children.

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