For the second time this year, a dog owned by a Panama City Beach woman is accused of injuring a young child.
“He’s having trouble sleeping. He’s been crawling up into bed with me, saying he’s having bad dreams,” Natascha Hill said about her son Bradly.
On October 4, 2016, the eleven year old boy was allegedly attacked by a pit bull named “Cheese Puff” at the home on 3003 Allison Ave. in Panama City Beach.
Hill and her son were visiting her boss who had recently bought the home from the dog’s owner Katrina Bracher. The boss made an agreement with Bracher to temporarily keep Cheese Puff and some of her belongings until the money cleared for the property, according to a Bay County Animal Control report.
“My son was going to open up the front door, and I saw the dog come around the side of the house, and I kind of said, ‘hey puppy,’ and it wasn’t growing or acting aggressive at all, and the next thing I knew the dog had Bradly by the back of his legs and was dragging him into the yard, chewing and scratching on him,” Hill explained. “It was a pretty helpless feeling, pretty, pretty terrifying for both of us.”
Officials have documented four times that Bracher’s pit bulls have caused problems in the Allison Ave. neighborhood before she sold the home.
A man who was picking up some things from Bracher’s home in late January told officers Cheese Puff and another dog named Bella made a beeline for him and a one year old baby. According to the report, Cheese Puff snapped at the baby while Bella bit his leg.
Four months later on May 2, 2016, another report explains that Bracher’s neighbor had to jump up on the hood of his car to get away from the dogs who ran on his property.
Later that month, Bella was euthanized for brutally attacking a four year old boy while he was playing with her puppies. The child had injuries to his face and arm and was hospitalized for days. Bracher signed Bella over to animal control to be quarantined and put down.
“I just want everybody else to be safe and for this not to happen to anybody else’s kid,” Hill added.
Animal control officers issued Bracher two civil citations for aggressive behavior in these cases. County ordinance only allows officials to confiscate an animal that has caused severe injury or death to a person or if the animal is already deemed dangerous and attacks or bites a person or animal without provocation.
Cheese Puff is being quarantined at animal control for ten days so officers can watch for any rabies symptoms. They will seek a dangerous dog designation for the pit bull. Bracher will be given an opportunity to appeal that ruling.
News 13 called the listed number for Bracher but was unable to reach her for comment.