A police officer and business owner sprung into action after noticing a dog dragging a toddler in its mouth.
Hillsborough County Det. Jeffrey Harris was interviewing Plant City produce business owner Teresa Budd Tuesday morning about an auto theft when they noticed a 50-pound Boxer with something in its mouth, WFLA reported (video below).
At first, Budd thought the dog was dragging a towel. Upon closer examination, she realized it was far more serious.
“The dog had just turned at a different angle and I could see what he was dragging around and it just hit me, oh my God its a child,” Budd told the news station. “I was able to run the dog off and kept the dog off and Deputy Harris told me to go get the mom and he would keep the dog off the child while I ran to the door to try and get the mom.”
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Harris ran over to the dog and started yelling at it, which caused it to run off.
Budd was able to locate the baby’s mother.
“I pointed to the yard and she said, oh my god yes bambino and she ran out to the child, she was horrified like any mother would be to see their child in that condition,” said.
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The child, later identified as nearly 2-year-old Michael Diaz, had been attacked by the family’s dog. He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital.
Neighbors told reporters they’ve seen the dog, named “Cookie,” running around unchained in the past.
“She was always around barking and run up to you and growl at you, and soon as you hit at her or threw something at her she would take off run back, but at this point I never thought she would do that,” neighbor Carolyn Jones said.
The dog and her puppies were taken by Hillsborough County Animal Service and the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident.
The child is currently in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“I’m just glad I was here at the right time, because it could have been a lot worse situation for the child and the family,” said Budd.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube