Families Brawl after Dogs Maul Toddler

10:36 AM, Feb 1, 2012   |    comments
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A Texas toddler was rushed to the emergency room late Monday afternoon after four of his family's dogs attacked him near Lake Worth.

The 18-month-old boy's parents told investigators they were sleeping when he crawled out a dog door into the backyard, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department said.

The toddler was attacked by four Boxers belonging to his grandparents, deputies said.

The child was taken by ambulance to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth with what neighbors called very serious injuries.

"He looked really bad," said neighbor Elaine Kuckler.

Neighbors said they have complained to police about the dogs for months.

They said the dogs previously had gotten out and attacked children on the same street.

One incident happened at a birthday party across the street.

Neighbor Melissa Turner said her young daughter was attacked.

"They had her down on the ground, and she was in a ball," Turner said. "They had her in the fetal position."

Neighbors said they called police but nothing happened.

They said the dogs' owners didn't seem upset at the time.

"They said we should teach our kids not to run from big dogs or it wouldn't have happened," Tiffany Shaw said.

"And now, this has happened, which is terrible," she said. "The dogs should have been gone a long time ago."

The grandmother of the injured boy was arrested by Tarrant County deputies on suspicion of assault after a confrontation with a neighbor that was caught on camera.

The grandmother's name was not immediately released.

Fort Worth Animal Control officers seized the four Boxers involved in the incident.

The child's grandfather gave up custody of the dogs.

Animal Control officers determined the family's three other dogs were not involved in the attack.

Child Protective Services was notified and would likely start its own investigation, said sheriff's spokesman Terry Grisham.

He said dogs are difficult to control in unincorporated areas of the county because there are no leash laws.

"There are no county ordinances to preclude dogs from running loose," Grisham said. "Certainly state law applies when a dog becomes a bad dog -- a nuisance animal."

No information on the boy or his injuries was available.

The boy's family asked that he be a "no-information patient," meaning the hospital cannot release information about his injuries or condition or even confirm if he is a patient.

KXAS

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