A dog attack in Pico Rivera late Sunday night injured a mother and her one-year-old daughter, and the woman stabbed one of the animals to death to save her child.
Deputies received a call at 10:18 p.m. reporting a dog bite in the 9600 block of Homebrook Street, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Miguel Meza.
Authorities said at least one of the dogs – described as pit bulls – bit the toddler when she started crying. Other family members tried to keep the dogs away, the toddler’s grandmother, Margaret Ann Morales, told ABC-TV Channel 7.
“I walked into the kitchen and that’s where I saw my two daughters and my son on the floor trying to get the dogs down,” she told the station.
The toddler’s mother, Jamie Morales, told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that the dog was holding her daughter by the leg. Morales said her face was bitten and her hands ripped open as she tried to free her daughter.
“I had to stab the dog. … I had to do it,” she told the station. “It was either him or my daughter, and I chose my daughter.”
Both pit bulls were stabbed in the attack, and one died at the scene, authorities said.
The Southeast Region Animal Control Authority also responded to the scene and took the animals into custody, sheriff’s officials said. Agency representatives were unavailable Monday morning for comment.
Pit bulls were responsible for 67% of all fatal attacks by dogs between 2005 and 2020, even though they only make up about 6% of the US canine population, according to the DogsBite.org website. They were also 48% more likely than other races to attack without provocation and are responsible for a disproportionate infant mortality rate, the organization reports.
Authorities said the mother and daughter were taken to USC Los Angeles County Medical Center after the attack. The girl is undergoing surgery for injuries to her arm and upper shoulder, officials said.
Los Angeles Times