Dog Suspected in Attack on Toddler Impounded

Riverside County Animal Services Saturday impounded a dog that is believed to have attacked a 1-year-old boy at a French Valley Park on Frid...

Riverside County Animal Services Saturday impounded a dog that is believed to have attacked a 1-year-old boy at a French Valley Park on Friday, according to a news release.

The dog, identified as a 6-year-old Labrador mix, was picked up about 3 p.m. Saturday after it was identified by a witness. (Photo courtesy Riverside County Animal Services).

According to county animal control officials, the toddler received serious injuries to his face during the attack, which occurred in Primrose Park. The child's mother and a friend were present at the time. The boy is recovering at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.

"Both the mother and the friend were close by when they heard the boy screaming," Riverside County Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens said. "We have been told that the dog seemingly came out of nowhere when the child was attacked."

The dog attacked the child sometime after 3 p.m. Friday.

"The friend reportedly helped grab the dog away from the child," Huennekens said. "The boy’s mother picked up her son and ran to her car and headed straight to a nearby hospital."

According to the news release, the mother’s friend helped authorities positively identify the dog. The property where the dog was located is on Starkey Court, in the unincorporated Riverside County community of French Valley.

Originally, the dog was described as a Rottweiler to Riverside County Animal Services.

The dog, named Dexter, will be impounded at the county’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus pending a hearing to determine if the dog is safe enough to be returned to the owner.

Riverside County Animal Services could recommend a destruction order if the dog is believed to be too dangerous. As is the county’s standard practice in similar dog bites and serious attacks, an independent hearing officer listens to the evidence presented and ultimately makes a ruling.

Animal Services does not have any record of any prior incidents regarding this particular dog. Dexter’s owners had the dog currently licensed, vaccinated for rabies, micro-chipped and the dog was neutered, Animal Control officials said.

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