AURORA, Colorado (KDVR) – A 5 year old boy is recovering after being bitten in the face by an American Staffordshire Terrier that was formerly a restricted breed. His mother tells FOX31 that her boyfriend recently adopted the dog from the Aurora Animal Shelter.
According to a police report, the incident took place in an Aurora apartment on Sunday morning while the boy, his mother and her boyfriend were watching TV in the living room.
The report said, “He knew something was wrong, and then noticed that Cotto (the dog) jumped off the couch… stepped forward (the boy) and bit straight in the face. He said Cotto hadn’t let go, so he got up and reached over and under Cotto’s upper and lower jaw and opened his mouth. “
The boy who was hurt by the dog. Photo credit: family
Aurora City Council member David Gruber said, “This is heartbreaking.”
He feared something like this would happen, which is why he voted against the pit bull regulation late last year.
“We just heard from experts that they shouldn’t be afraid, they are no more dangerous than any other dog. Then, to find out, low and lo and behold – three to four months after we got a vote to let it go – there you go, just breaks my heart, ”Gruber said.
He said the lifting of the 2005 ban should have been decided by residents of Aurora.
“In 2014 we asked people to vote on it. 64% said, ‘No pit bulls. ‘Last year the council wanted to bring them back and voted to lift the ban. There were breed restrictions on the chip and other things. People with pit bulls love pit bulls and each of them will say, “My dog will never bite anyone” until they do. Small percentage, but if you look at all of the dog bites in the country, most of them are from pit bulls. When a pit bull bites it’s not a standard bite, it’s a bite, hold and snatch and that is what makes it so dangerous. “
The dog Cotto was euthanized after the incident on Sunday. The boy’s mother tells FOX31 that they were told by the shelter that he is a family dog and good with children.
The city of Aurora issued the following statement:
“Our thoughts are with the victim and his family and we hope for a full recovery. The Aurora Animal Shelter uses the nationally recognized SAFER rating to assess the suitability of dogs for adoption and to measure an animal’s response to various encounters and stimuli such as food, toys, and interactions. While this behavioral assessment is a powerful tool, no assessment can be a predictor of animal behavior in all situations and circumstances. People who adopt animals from the shelter must sign the city’s standard adoption agreement that recognizes this risk. ”
A neighbor who refused to be identified said, “If you have this type of dog, you know what this dog is capable of. When you feed it and let it take care of. You should know if it is violent or not, especially when you are with a child. “
Gruber stressed that he believed that Aurora voters should have their say in changing the ban.
“The community should understand the risks and benefits, and the community should make the decision. That didn’t happen in this case, ”he said.
In November 2020, voters in neighboring Denver voted to lift the city’s decade-old pit bull ban.
The boy’s mother said he had a long recovery both physically and emotionally. His family set up a GoFundMe to help with his recovery.
Dogs attack and injure residents in the Commerce City neighborhood
In an independent attack on Wednesday, three dogs bit and injured local residents in a neighborhood of Commerce City. Police say the adult victims’ injuries were not life threatening. One victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
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