Pit Bull Leaves Toddler In Critical Condition After 'Horrible Attack'

A toddler mauled by a dog in Oklahoma has been left in a critical condition, according to police.

Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) police said the one-year-old boy had been mauled by a pit bull in Daryl Lane, Oklahoma City, at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

In a Facebook statement, an OCSO spokesperson added: "When they arrived, they found the one-year-old suffering severe injuries.

"The toddler was taken to the hospital and the dog was seized. The child did not live at the home but was a neighbor.

"Police have been called to the home several times on complaints that several pit bulls that lived in the home had been running loose. In Oklahoma, dog owners are required to have control of their pets."

The boy's grandmother told NBC affiliate KFOR her grandson J.J. Rodriguez had been playing outside with his three older sisters when some of the neighbor's pit bulls quickly approached and attacked the toddler, leaving him with severe injuries.

She told the network: "It's very traumatizing. He's only one, he's a baby. They tore his face off, they scalped him. He can't breathe on his own."

Neighbor Charles Rankin, who witnessed the attack, told KFOR: "I just heard a man screaming. It shook everything, I can't even talk about it."

Aaron Brillbeck, with the OCSO, told the network: "It was a horrible, horrible attack, no child should have to undergo pain and the terror of being attacked by a dog like that."

Newsweek has contacted the OCSO for comment.

According to legal firm Edgar Snyder and Associates, owners must follow through with a number of responsibilities when they decide to own a dangerous dog, which includes:

  • Registering the dog with the state.
  • Confining dangerous dogs indoors or outside in a securely enclosed and locked pen that prevents children from entering.
  • Post clearly-visible signs on the property that alert people that a dangerous dog is on the property.
  • Owners must maintain liability insurance or surety bond of at least $50,000 insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dog.

The legal firm added: "A dog owner is strictly liable for damages when his or her dog, without provocation, bites or injures any person, so long as the injured person is in a place where he had a lawful right to be when the injury occurred and was not assaulting the owner of the dog."

In December, a young boy was left with horrific injuries after his arm was torn completely off by a pit bull.

Then 4-year-old Axel Foster was rushed to hospital after the dog bit off his arm just below the shoulder while at his grandparents' Tecumseh home, according to KFOR.

Tecumseh Police Department Chief JR Kidney told the network: "I've seen dog bites in the past and experienced pretty brutal dog bites with children but never a complete amputation."

Police outside Oklahoma City home
Police outside Oklahoma City home. The boy was left with severe injuries following the attack. Police handout