Animal Rights

Pit Bull Attacks Hunter Kilbourn, 10, in Antioch, Calif., Rips Off Forehead, Right Ear

A 10-year-old fourth-grader, Hunter Kilbourn, was recovering Monday following surgery for massive head and facial injuries after a pit bull attack while visiting in Antioch, a northern California city, during the weekend, police said.

Hunter, who lives in nearby Martinez, was visiting family friends Sunday in the 2000 block of Reseda Drive in Antioch when the pit bull got inside the house at about 11:45 a.m. and jumped on him, according to the Contra Costa Times. The dog knocked Hunter down the stairs and mauled his face and arms.

"On the right side of his face from his forehead to his eye, across to his ear was basically removed,” said his mother, Melody Ralls. “It was ripped off."

Hunter was initially rushed to Children's Hospital Oakland for surgery Monday to repair injuries to his head, face and arms. He was then flown to the UC Davis Trauma Center where doctors reattached his ear. Another surgery is schedule for Tuesday to repair injuries to the right side of Hunter's face.

The boy needed more than 100 stitches to repair injuries to his arms. The attack also took out two pieces of skin and tissue from the back of his head as well as part of his left cheek, Ralls told the Contra Costa Times.

Hunter will need a skin graft, and doctors told the family he might be paralyzed on the right side of his face.

It was not known why the dog attacked or how it got into the house, police said. The dog was one of two pit bulls at the home, according to Ralls. She said she was next door when the mauling occurred.

Police have not identified the owners of the dog, according to the Times.

"I saw the family out walking the dogs all the time," said neighbor Hector Tarango. "They never seemed unfriendly, but I didn't trust them. They're powerful dogs."

Hunter, who is a student at Morello Park Elementary School, was playing with friends from the Antioch neighborhood, Ralls told the Times.

"Anytime my son has been there, the dogs have been in the back," she said. "I don't know if the owner let the dog into the house or what."

Ralls said she will do anything she can to make sure the dog is put down.

The pit bull is in quarantine for at least a week, officials told NBC Bay Area News.

Sources: Contra Costa Times, NBC Bay Area

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