Local

Winton toddler mauled by family dog

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A three year old Winton boy is hospitalized after being attacked by his family's pit bull. Adrian Becerra suffered bites to his head, face, and arm in an attack his family members said they never saw coming. It happened Monday evening at the family's Winton home.

Becerra underwent surgery at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno Tuesday and is expected to recover. Family members said the attack happened after the boy's older brother opened a sliding glass door and the dog ran into the home's living room and headed straight toward Adrian. "He started charging at my brother. When I heard him screaming... that's when we all ran over, trying to get the dog off of him," said Adrian's sister, Lupe Becerra.

Lupe Becerra said it felt like the attack lasted two minutes. "I started hitting the dog with my hand because I didn't have time to grab anything because he was already on top of my brother. So I just started hitting him with my fist," said Becerra.

The family said the dog's name is Smokey and they got him as a puppy about a year ago. They told Action News they never thought he would be capable of such a vicious attack. "I had never seen that side of him. He was always a kind dog who loves to have fun. I had never seen him like that," said Adrian's brother Jose Becerra.

Deputies said the dog was still showing signs of aggression when he was turned over to animal control officers. "A deputy told me if the dog had actually broken the snare, it was showing so much aggression, that if it had broken the snare he would have been forced to put it down," said Merced County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Tom MacKenzie.

Smokey is now being tested for rabies and will then be euthanized. Lupe Becerra said it's what the dog deserves. Though considered Smokey a pet, she no longer thinks pit bulls should be around children. "You could say, 'Yeah, my pit bull is nice', but you never know if he could attack your son, your kid, or other kids," said Lupe Becerra.

The Merced County Sheriff's Department said charges won't be filed because there were no signs of neglect and the dog didn't have a history of aggressive behavior.

Family members said the dog bit another sibling a few months ago. That time, the child wasn't seriously injured and they still never suspected he could do this.

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animal, winton, merced county, local
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