Future of dogs is decided

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2005

Two-year-old Jonathan Michael Martin, mauled to death by a dog last week, was buried in a chilly downpour last Friday.

But Ox, the brindle pit bull mix first believed to have fatally attacked the toddler; Little Girl, a black-and-white pit bull mix, and her litter of four puppies, all owned by the child’s parents, Heather Frango and James &uot;Jon&uot; Martin, of Whaleyville, are still being held in the Suffolk Animal Shelter, said Lt. Debbie J. George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

&uot;We are still collecting information,&uot; said George. &uot;It’s too early to say if charges will be filed against the family. &uot;Anything you are hearing about charges being filed at this point is just rumor. There has been no final determination yet.&uot;

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George declined to say how much longer the police investigation could take. That investigation may answer the question of

which dog attacked the toddler. There has been some speculation in recent days that it might have been either or both animals.

For the time being, the dogs are considered evidence and will remain in the shelter off Forest Glen Drive, George said.

Both adult dogs will be euthanized once the police investigation wraps up, she added.

If the family doesn’t agree to have the dogs put to death, the police will petition for the court’s authorization to euthanize them, she said.

An autopsy revealed that Jonathan died from blood loss caused by the multiple dog bites, George said.

According to reports, Frango left the toddler in a downstairs bedroom Oct. 3 while she ran upstairs to get his shoes and check her younger son, Conner. She returned to find the child in a spare bedroom, where he had been bitten by the dogs.

Jon Martin had apparently brought the dogs, which usually stay outside, into the house the previous night because of rain, according to authorities.