Mother of baby who lost fingers to ferret sent to jail for 30 days

A former Grain Valley woman who left an infant unattended with the family ferret in 2011 received a 30-day “shock time” sentence to the Jackson County jail on Friday.

Carrie Waldo, whose 4-month-old boy lost most of his fingers to the ferret, last month pleaded guilty to second-degree child endangerment. At the time, she was ordered to complete a 30-day inpatient drug program.

Upon completion of that program, Jackson County Circuit Judge Michael Manners would have suspended a one-year jail sentence and ordered the beginning of a two-year probation period.

However, on Friday, Waldo’s lawyer, Curt Winegarner, told Manners that Waldo twice had gone to hospitals to seek such treatment but could not find an inpatient program.

“She has not successfully completed a program of that type,” Winegarner said. “She has had problems getting from a hospital setting to an inpatient program.”

In addition to the 30 days in jail, Manners also ordered that Waldo complete a substance abuse screening and treatment program under the supervision of a probation officer, and receive parenting instruction.

If she fails to meet those and other probation conditions, she could face up to a full year in jail.

Waldo did not speak during her brief court appearance Friday afternoon in the Jackson County Courthouse Annex in Independence. A sheriff’s deputy placed handcuffs on Waldo’s wrists and led her from the courtroom.

Last month Manners had told Waldo that she had “created a substantial risk” in allowing the animal to have access to the child.

“You knew that the ferret had bitten the child in the past,” he said.

In June 2011, prosecutors charged both Carrie and husband Ryan Waldo with first-degree child endangerment.

The previous January, emergency personnel had responded to the couple’s Grain Valley home on a 911 call. They found an infant who had only two thumbs and part of a pinkie finger remaining. He was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in critical condition.

Ryan Waldo in March pleaded guilty to second-degree child endangerment. He was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service, complete parenting classes and have no contact with the couple’s five children during his probation period.

Last month Manners also had directed that Carrie Waldo have no contact with any of the children. They have been adopted, are in the process of being adopted, or are living with other relatives.