Riverside County, CA
An 8-year-old boy suffered major injuries to his face when he was attacked by a pit bull with a history of violence outside a Home Gardens residence, authorities said Friday.
The mauling happened about 7 p.m. Thursday on Avenida Pescador, in the northeast quarter of the unincorporated community, just south of Corona, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Agency spokesman John Welsh said the victim, whose identity was not released, was visiting a friend’s house, standing with another boy on the porch near the front door, when the 6-year-old brown-and-white pit bull lunged at him, clamping down on the side of his face.
"He suffered wounds near his eye and his mouth," Welsh said.
The owner apparently regained control of the dog, and witnesses called 911.
The victim was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment, according to Welsh.
He said an animal control officer seized the canine, which was not neutered and not vaccinated for rabies.
The pit bull was impounded at the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley, where the owner visited Friday and signed documents consenting to the county’s request to humanely euthanize the canine, according to Welsh.
"In light of the boy’s severe injuries, we would have recommended that the dog be euthanized in the interest of public safety," said Department of Animal Services Lt. James Huffman. "Our hearts go out to the victim and his family as he recovers from this horrible, preventable incident."
According to Welsh, the dog and its owner were already under investigation for a June 24 attack involving a man who suffered punctures to his right forearm that were inflicted by the animal. The circumstances weren’t disclosed.
The victim in that attack alleged that he’d suffered nerve damage.
Welsh said a public hearing had been scheduled for July 25 on whether a restraining order was necessary against the owner for keeping "a potentially dangerous dog."
Because the pit will be put down, the hearing is no longer necessary.