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Orange County

Family Pit Bull Mauls Child

Santa Ana toddler is in serious condition with face and head wounds after the 90-pound animal attacks her. The dog is quarantined.

January 27, 2004|Stanley Allison | Times Staff Writer

An 18-month-old Santa Ana girl was in serious condition Monday with face and head wounds after the family's 90-pound pit bull attacked her, police said.

The attack occurred after the child's mother, Nhouka Vange, 24, stepped out of the room where the youngster was playing shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, authorities said. They don't know what provoked the 7-year-old dog, named Brownie.

Vange raced back into the room when the child cried out, but she already had suffered several deep cuts and puncture wounds to her head, said Capt. Anthony Espinosa, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Fire Department.

Paramedics arrived at the home in the 4900 block of West Acapulco Avenue and took her to the hospital.

The toddler, whose name was withheld, suffered serious damage to her right eye, Espinosa said, and was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she underwent reconstructive surgery.

The dog did not have a history of attacking humans, authorities said. The pit bull was taken to the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orange where he will be quarantined for 10 days, said Sgt. Carlos Rojas, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.

After that period, if he has not exhibited aggressive behavior, the family will have to decide whether to keep the dog or to euthanize him, Rojas said.

He said it was unlikely the parents would be criminally charged.

"We didn't observe anything to [suggest] it was criminal," Rojas said.

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