JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. — A toddler had his ear ripped off and was severely injured by his family’s dog in an attack in Jurupa Valley Wednesday, authorities said.
The 1 1/2-year-old boy was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center with his left ear ripped off, according to a news release from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
The incident occurred shortly before 7:45 a.m. in the backyard of a home on Pontiac Avenue. The boy’s grandmother, who was inside the home, heard the boy screaming.
The toddler was supposed to be taking a nap when somehow he ended up the home’s backyard with the dog, which was described by authorities as a 2-year-old male pit bull named Poncho.
When first responders arrived, neighbors were “still wielding baseball bats” against the dog, the release stated. It was not clear if the bats had been used against the pet by neighbors, who responded when they heard the attack and went to aid the child.
The boy’s mother surrendered the dog to an Animal Services officer for “humane euthanasia,” the news release stated. The animal was properly neutered and licensed.
When Poncho was taken into custody, the animal did not show signs of aggression toward officers. The mother said she had never encountered “any serious issues” with the dog before, the release said.
It was difficult to see the boy at the hospital, Animal Services Officer Tiffany Fuller said, according to the news release.
“It just broke my heart – he’s just a baby,” Fuller said. “To see him in that shape, in that condition. He’ll be scarred for life.”