Dog bite sends Chesterfield 5-year-old to hospital

Posted at 12:24 AM, Aug 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-29 18:28:54-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Police are investigating after a dog bit a child in Chesterfield Wednesday night.

The incident happened along the 1800 block of Parkway Lane about 8 p.m., according to officials.

"It's very disturbing... for a child to have to go through all that,” said Barbara Cox, who lives in the neighborhood where the child was attacked. "I've not seen dogs here that were aggressive on our street -- and I've been here a long time."

Police and animal control responded to a call Wednesday evening involving a 5-year-old boy who officers said was attacked by the homeowner's American bulldog.

According to police, the boy was bitten on the head and rushed to VCU Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators said the bulldog is being quarantined at the county's animal shelter. However, police and staff at the shelter denied CBS 6 News' requests for an interview -- and would not say what led to the attack because of their ongoing investigation.

"I got parents who will brag to me that their dog would never bit the children. And they let children ride on him and step on their toes,” said Sarah Babcock, SPCA Chief of Education and Training.

Babcock, who could not specifically comment on this case, said dog owners should always watch their pets and teach children how to deal with them.

"Even if their dog does continue to tolerate it. The next dog they meet probably won't," said Babcock. "And so, I think it's important that parents spend time teaching kids how to respect and treat animals in a humane fashion.”

Animal experts said if you come face to face with an aggressive dog, never run away or make a lot of noise. Stand very still and if you’re knocked to the ground, curl up in a ball, wait for the dog to leave and call 911.

Chesterfield police would not comment on the extent of the little boy’s injuries as they continue their investigation. There is no word if or when the dog could be put down.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for updates on this story.