WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2014 – A toddler was severely injured Wednesday morning in Jurupa Valley when the family dog attacked him.
The incident happened shortly before 7:45 a.m. in the backyard of a home on Pontiac Avenue in the city of Jurupa Valley's Rubidoux area.
Emergency responders arrived and the boy, about 1 1⁄2 years old, was transported to the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Riverside County Animal Services dispatched officers Will Luna and Tiffany Fuller to retrieve the dog. When they arrived, neighbors were still wielding baseball bats.
"They were standing outside with bats because they heard the attack and went out to help the boy," Officer Fuller said. She said she was uncertain if they actually had to use the baseball bats on the dog or if the dog scurried as they approached him and the child. Even though Officer Luna retrieved the dog by using his control stick, he said the dog didn't show any signs of aggression toward him.
Fuller spoke with law enforcement and was told that the boy was at home with his grandmother and was supposed to be taking a nap while his mother was at a supermarket getting groceries. Somehow the boy ended up outside in the backyard with the dog and that's when the grandmother heard the boy screaming, Fuller said.
The 2-year-old male pit bull ripped off the boy's left ear. Officer Fuller drove to Loma Linda to gather information for a bite report and document the injuries. The boy's mother signed paperwork with Officer Fuller to surrender the neutered and licensed dog, Poncho, for humane euthanasia. She told the officer that the family had not had to deal with any serious issues with the dog previously.
Fuller said it was difficult to see the boy at the hospital.
"It just broke my heart – he's just a baby," Fuller said of the injured toddler. "To see him in that shape, in that condition. He'll be scarred for life."