Pit bull attacks 13-month-old baby in Dania Beach

 

datkins@MiamiHerald.com

A pit bull attacked a 13-month-old baby in Dania Beach Wednesday morning.

The toddler was playing inside a home at 4841 SW 44th Ave. when the family pet began acting erratically and attacked the baby, said Gina Carter, a Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Family members pulled the dog off the child and called the authorities.

Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue responded and the injured child was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. The baby’s name and gender has not been released.

“We know the injury was serious,” Carter said.

Hours after the incident, the neighborhood surrounding the home was quiet. A cousin of the victim who was outside the home declined to give his name or talk about the attack.

The animal was identified by the family as a male pit bull and was taken into custody by animal control. The victim’s mother owns the pit bull and requested that the dog be euthanized after the attack, said Lisa Mendheim, public education coordinator at the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption.

The dog owner was cited for not having proper identification tags for the pet and for not getting the animal vaccinated for rabies. Animal control will wait 10 days before euthanizing the pit bull, according to medical protocol, Mendheim said. If the dog is infected, the animal could have spread the disease to others.

“Since it was a family pet, chances are it doesn’t,” she added. Mendheim said she didn’t know if the family has other pets.

In February, a proposal to outlaw new pit bull ownership in Broward County was tabled by commissioners after dozens of county residents spoke against it. Miami-Dade County residents voted to retain a 23-year-old ban on pit bulls in 2012.

Between June 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received 244 calls related to injuries sustained from animal bites, according to county records. Of those, 17 were pit bull attacks, six were attacks by Unks and three were Rottweiler attacks. There was one instance each of a bite caused by a Labrador, Chihuahua and insect and three cases of a cat attacks. The majority of the incidents—154 calls—reported dog attacks by an unidentified breed.

Read more Broward stories from the Miami Herald

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