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Child bitten by family dog, airlifted to L.A. hospital

Posted: June 25, 2011 3:34 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2011 3:34 p.m.

A 4-year-old boy who was bitten by a dog Saturday is airlifted to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The condition of the child is not known, but officials said the child's injuries were not life-threatening.

A toddler bitten by a family dog Saturday was airlifted to a hospital from the baseball field at Golden Valley High School.

The 3-year-old boy suffered at least one injury in the area of his face and neck when he was attacked shortly after 9:30 a.m., according Lt. Joe Efflandt of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

In the backyard of a home on Alyssa Drive inside the Canyon Gate gated community, a family gathering turned tragic suddenly when a pet Akita bit the child in the chin, cheek or neck area, said Efflandt.

The extent his injuries was not immediately known, but they were not believed to be life-threatening, Efflandt said, adding initial fears were that the boy was bitten in the throat.

"It was strictly an accident, an unfortunate accident," Efflandt said, adding no charges were expected.

The boy was identified only as the visiting nephew of the homeowner and was taken by helicopter to Children's Hospital Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard.

"The nephew was in the backyard playing and I don't know if the child startled the Akita but it bit the 3-year-old," Efflandt said.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department called for a helicopter to meet them at nearby Golden Valley High School, a spokesman said.

Lori Mazzoco and Jill Maxfield, whose husbands are both firefightes and whose sons were both Hart High School students entered in a linebacker competition at the high school, saw the boy being loaded onto the helicopter.

"A woman who looked like the mom was frantic," Mazzocco said. "A man who looked like the dad was there too, but only one could go on the chopper."

The woman joined the boy in the helicopter.

"The boy was on a stretcher with a neck brace," she said. "His legs were wrapped. His eyes were open.

"The air squad was there a total of five minutes," she said.

The helicopter landed in the middle of the school's baseball field where the So Cal Choppers baseball team was practicing.

"They told us to get off the field because a helicopter was landing," said a member of the team. "And, we did what we were told."

The homeowner surrendered the dog to Animal Control officers who, according to Efflandt, are expected to make a decision as to its fate.




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