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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Girl, 2, Critically Injured in Attack by Family Dog

November 25, 2000

MID-CITY — A 2-year-old girl playing in her frontyard suffered critical head injuries when her family dog attacked her and two siblings Friday, officials said.

Police said an elder sibling was cleaning the dog's kennel outside the family's duplex and did not know the two other children were playing on a slide and swing set in the yard. Police said the dog, a 4-year-old Rottweiler that weighs about 80 pounds, then attacked the three children. "It [the dog] just snapped," said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Al Reyes. The dog, he said, had been kept in a kennel and had no history of biting anyone.

Reyes said the mother ran out of the house and was bitten while prying the dog off the girl. She then grabbed the injured girl and led the dog into the house, away from the other two children. Then she called 911 and locked herself in the bathroom, Reyes said. The three children and the mother were taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Police used a fire extinguisher to corner the dog in a room; it was later taken away by Animal Control officers, Reyes said. A similar dog owned by the family, which was kept in an adjoining kennel, also was taken into Animal Control custody as a precaution.

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