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Home / civil action

Pit bull that mauled 3-year-old in Riverside County put down

A pit bull that mauled a 3-year-old girl in East Hemet was euthanized, with the owner electing not to contest the animal’s seizure, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The 2-year-old male canine was seized April 2 immediately after the attack in the 41000 block of Mayberry Avenue, near Columbia Street.

By law, the owner of the pit had 10 days to file a post-seizure protest to attempt to reclaim the dog, but instead the individual, whose identity was not released, signed a consent form permitting the Riverside County Department of Animal Services to euthanize the canine.

Agency spokesman John Welsh told City News Service that the animal was put down on Tuesday.

The child, meanwhile, is still recovering from the attack, which her mother said began in the house that the little girl was visiting that Saturday afternoon.

The woman told the Department of Animal Services that her daughter did not wander into the backyard, but was pulled into the yard by the dog.

“We should note that when our (animal control) officer arrived at the property, the dog was in the backyard inside a pen of some type,” Welsh said last week. “The owner had informed us that the dog was tethered and located in the backyard when the attack occurred. The (victim’s) mother told us that was incorrect.”

The house was possibly being used as a daycare facility. It was unclear why the girl was left without supervision in close proximity to the dog.

The canine leapt on her, biting her on the face, arms and abdomen, according to Welsh. Occupants of the house came to the child’s aid and stopped the attack.

The girl was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she received nearly 200 stitches to close the bite wounds, Welsh said.

The canine was impounded at the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.

Welsh said no criminal investigation is underway.

There was no word on whether the victim’s family intends to pursue civil action against the dog owner.

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