South Florida

South Florida toddler in critical condition after being mauled by mastiff mix

A dog that appeared to be a pit bull attacked this toddler in Florida City Friday evening. She remained in intensive care Saturday, according to police.
A dog that appeared to be a pit bull attacked this toddler in Florida City Friday evening. She remained in intensive care Saturday, according to police. CBS4

A toddler remained in intensive care Saturday after being mauled by a mastiff mix in Florida City on Friday, police and animal services officials said.

The 3-year-old girl was attacked in the 1200 block of Northwest Eighth Court about 8:45 p.m. after the dog crawled under a fence at a house, Florida City Police Maj. Steven Taylor said. The girl was flown to Kendall Regional Medical Center, Miami-Dade County fire dispatchers said, where she underwent surgery. She was in stable condition Saturday but remained in the ICU, Taylor said.

Owner Charles Jones surrendered the dog to Miami-Dade County Animal Services, said spokeswoman Lilian Bohorquez. Zeus, a 2-year-old dogue de bordeaux mix, was placed in quarantine for three days but will likely be euthanized because it was so aggressive, she said.

Animal control officers cited Jones for the attack, as well as allowing the dog to run free and failing to have a rabies vaccination, she said. Florida City police are also conducting an investigation into possible criminal charges, Taylor said.

The girl’s father told CBS4 that he and his daughter were walking to a store to buy milk when the dog suddenly lunged at them.

“It bit her in the back real bad,” he said. “He grabbed my hand,” he continued, saying it took about five minutes to pull the dog off the girl. The father also said they’d never had any problems with the dog before, CBS4 reported.

Police were not releasing the girl’s name because of her age, Taylor said.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich

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