NICHOLASVILLE — Michael Smith, the Jessamine County man whose family dog carried Smith's infant son from a crib in late July, now wants the wolf hybrid returned home, authorities said Friday.
Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said a court order will be needed before Dakota the dog is returned to the Smith home.
"I'm concerned about the safety of the child, and we are going to be reviewing the situation over the weekend to see what can be done to ensure the safety of the child," Goettl said.
Smith, who could not be reached for comment Friday, had previously told reporters that Dakota would not return to his house.
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News that the dog might go back to the Smiths' home came on the same day that the Jessamine County Sheriff's Office said it had closed its investigation of the July 20 baby-snatching incident.
On Friday, a Jessamine County grand jury did not return an indictment against Michael and Chrissie Smith, Chief Deputy Allen Peel said.
"There was no criminal intent in the case," Peel said.
Because there was no indictment, no charges will be filed, he said.
Alexander James "A.J." Smith was 3 days old on July 20 when Dakota, a female wolf-dog hybrid, took the baby from a crib and carried him outside the Smiths' Jessamine County home.
The baby suffered a cracked skull, cracked ribs, and a collapsed lung and a partially collapsed lung. He was in critical condition for several days at University of Kentucky Hospital. A.J. has since returned home.
Michael Smith said during a press conference July 21 at UK Hospital that he hoped Dakota could be adopted by another owner.
"Obviously, Dakota is not coming back into my house," Michael Smith said then.
Dakota remains at the Jessamine County SAVE Center, the animal shelter for dogs and cats in Nicholasville, director Jenise Smith said.
She said Goettl had left specific instructions that "until he notifies us otherwise, we're to continue to hold Dakota."
She said that Michael Smith had mentioned the possibility that Dakota would return to his property.
Jenise Smith said she did not "get into a discussion into that."
"I was a little shocked and didn't see any good coming out of that situation," Jenise Smith said.
Her recommendation was that Dakota should go to an animal sanctuary.
Goettl said he would prefer that a judge issue a court order on the dog's future. From a legal standpoint, such an order would relieve the county of any liability should there be another incident involving Dakota, Goettl said.
He said he informed the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services about Michael Smith's request.