CHICAGO (CBS) – The popular home improvement chain posts a no pets allowed warning. The child’s family sits down with CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini and wants to know why the policy is not enforced.
Three-year-old Finja Simon was hospitalized after suffering an eye injury at the Home Depot in Downers Grove. Her mother, Marina Simon, says a Doberman Pinscher bit the girl in the face requiring stitches.
“She started screaming,” said Simon. “I saw the blood coming out.”
Store surveillance footage shows it happened at the checkout counter. The girl’s brother approached the dog first.
“He was holding his hand down to let the dog sniff,” said Simon.
She says her daughter approached next, and the dog bit her face. The video shows the girl fall to the ground. Simon said she then called out for help.
“Can somebody please give me paper towel, my daughter is bleeding,” said Simon.
A checkout clerk can be seen giving her a towel. Another clerk appears to help too, but Simon says not a single Home Depot manager came to the scene.
“I had this crying child laying there, screaming, bleeding,” said Simon.
As she took care of her daughter’s wounds, after a little over one minute passed, the dog’s owners picked up their goods and left. Nobody from Home Depot stopped them.
“They just walked out,” said Simon whose husband was upset by that too.
“It is upsetting,” said Randy Simon. “I mean come on, you should have more sense than that and exchange insurance information or whatever it may be.”
Since no one from the store stopped the couple, the Simon’s say they had no immediate way to find out if the dog had rabies. Plus they want to know why Home Depot employees even allowed the dog inside with shoppers. A warning sticker on the entrance door clearly shows pets are not allowed. Though CBS 2 found videos of dogs at various Home Depots.
Attorney Kurt Lloyd represents the family.
“They don’t enforce their no dogs allowed policy,” Lloyd said about Home Depot.
He says there have been dog bites at other Home Depot stores too.
“Just a recipe for disaster,” said Lloyd. “There’s forklifts going by, customers picking up goods and dropping things.”
Ten days after the incident, police tracked down the couple with the dog – Norris Ingbretson and Emily Trostle. Trostle, according to a police report the Simon’s filed, said she had brought the dog to the store, “many times before”.
Trostle also told police she apologized to Simon, and said it was not a bite, the dog barked and its teeth scratched the girl. Simon disagrees with both statements
No charges or lawsuit have been filed.
A Home Depot statement says workers failed to do an incident report before both families left the store. The company is working with the Simon’s family.
Even though Home Depot posts no pets allowed warnings, the company statement says stores can still choose to allow pets inside.
Finja’s parents hope she heals without scarring and recovers from her new fear of dogs.
“She has pretty horrible nightmares,” said Randy Simon.
The Downers Grove store is now asking people with dogs to kindly take their dogs outside.