Two Animal Control Officers Suffer Bite Wounds
Two animal control officers sustained bite wounds today after a dog charged them during a routine call.
The attack happened in the 5700 block of Walter Street in Riverside, just east of Riverside Municipal Airport. The officers arrived at the home shortly after 10 a.m. to complete an investigation about a dog that had been reportedly involved in a prior bite.
Officers Shirley Rivera and Ramon Rodriguez were at the property to place the dog in quarantine. Before the officers entered the property, a resident at the home told them they would put the dog in a secure spot.
Officers always stay alert regardless of what they are told, Commander Chris Mayer said. But, Mayer said,this dog “rushed out of nowhere” within just a few moments of their arrival. The dog rushed past the property line and attacked them as they stood outside the property’s front gate, he said.
Officer Rodriguez suffered bites to his thighs and his right foot after the dog punctured his service boot. Itlatched onto his right leg and that’s when Officer Rivera used her pole to hit the dog so it would releaseitself from her colleague’s leg. As the dog let go, it attacked Officer Rivera, biting her in the stomach.
They ultimately secured the dog and loaded it onto their truck. Immediately after that, Officer Rivera drove herself and Officer Rodriguez to the Riverside Medical Clinic for treatment.
The dog, a male, 5-year-old pit bull named Chato, was relinquished by its owner for humane euthanasia. The dog has since been euthanized.
“This is a very unfortunate incident – and preventable,” Mayer said. “Our officers are used to handling vicious dogs and aggressive dogs. But when someone tells us they are going to secure a dog, we take that ingood faith.”
Officer Rivera and Rodriguez were treated and released and are now recovering. “It’s saddening to learn two of our officers were injured in this manner,” Mayer said. “I hope they both heal well and will be backwith our team soon.”