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Two Men Rescue 12-Year-old from Further Injuries

A Riverside County Animal Services officer responded to a serious dog attack in Banning Tuesday night.

A 12-year-old boy was attacked inside a fenced property in the 1500 block on North Alessandro Street shortly before 6 p.m. Banning Police contacted Animal Services to respond.

The boy resides at the property and has played with the dog in the past, witnesses told Animal Services officer Carra Mathewson. It was uncertain why the 10-year-old, female, intact pitbull attacked the child.

Two men raced from a next-door property to rescue the boy from the dog’s grip. “These men likely saved this boy’s life,” Mathewson said.

The men had been working on changing a battery in a pickup when they heard what sounded like a pig squealing, she said. Initially, they thought a pig was being attacked. Their view was partially blocked by a tree, but when they ran to the front fence, they witnessed the dog holding onto the boy’s right arm. A woman was hitting the dog with a broom, but the dog would not let go, according to the witnesses.

One of the men reached over the short fence to grab the dog’s hind legs. The other man put his arms around the dog’s neck. Their impromptu actions finally forced the dog to release the child.

“One of the men told me the dog was attacking the boy in a manner that appeared the dog was trying to eat the kid,” Mathewson said. “The other man said the dog looked like it was not going to stop attacking. I sincerely believe their actions were heroic.”

In a minor miracle, she said, the two men were less than a minute from leaving before the attack. “They needed to head back to the auto parts store and were moments from leaving,” she said.

Emergency responders transported the boy to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. He sustained severe wounds to his right arm and right leg. It is believed he has been treated and released. Officer Mathewson transported the dog to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. She made contact with the dog’s owner today and he has indicated he wants to keep the dog. (He was not at home during the attack.) A hearing will be scheduled regarding the incident.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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