Three children in Rochester, NY, are recovering from attacks by Pit Bulls in separate incidents on the Labor Day weekend. The first incident occurred around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, September 1, when an off-leash Pit Bull attacked two boys at Avenue D and Joseph Avenue.
Police report that a five-year-old and a ten-year-old boy were both bitten. The ten-year-old sustained injuries to his lower body, and the five year old had “substantial injuries to one leg," according to NBC News10. Both boys were taken to Rochester General Hospital. The older boy was treated and later released. The five-year old is still hospitalized.
The Pit Bull was reportedly captured by police and animal control officers and impounded. Police say they plan to cite the owner.
Just one hour later on the same day, little Jayden Forrester, 3 (pictured), was attacked by a family Pit Bull. The little girl remains in guarded condition in Strong Memorial Hospital Pediatric Intensive-Care Unit. The attack occurred in the home of Jayden’s aunt on Starling Street, near Lexington Avenue at a birthday celebration, according to reports.
Family members said Jayden was playing in the house when the dog ran into the room and latched onto the child’s face in a completely unprovoked attack. Jayden’s grandfather described that the dog “came around the couch and came up to her like normal and just attacked her face and would not let go."
Justin Forrester and Malissa Moore, Jayden’s parents, say they were also at Malissa’s sister’s house when the attack happened. “Jayden had interacted with the pit bull many times before, but this time, it just snapped,” said the little girl’s father.
Justin Forrester told reporters, “We both ran inside and what I saw when I got there was he had her whole face in his mouth. Right before he was able to shake…I grabbed his top and bottom jaws and I was able to pull them open wide enough for Malissa to grab Jayden. “There’s no time to think…if I took the time to think, my daughter wouldn’t be alive,” he said.
The Pit Bull reportedly had his jaws locked from Jayden's eyes to under her chin. When Justin pried open the dog's mouth, he said he expected the dog to attack him, but the Pit Bull continued to pursue Jayden.
The mother said her daughter spent time with the dog often, playing with his ears and cuddling on the couch, "They've been together since Jayden was a baby girl. He [the Pit Bull] never did anything to her ….He was a family dog.”
“Jayden has already undergone a number of procedures, including six hours of surgery to repair a fractured jaw and damage to her nasal passages, tear duct, eye lids and bridge of her nose. She also lost five teeth in the attack and received two units of blood from the Red Cross-- a large amount for a small child,” says Justin’s former foster mother on the family website.
Justin described little Jayden’s injuries for reporters, “She has a large laceration underneath her jaw. She has a fractured lower jaw. She lost five teeth, her upper macula was broken. She’s got two plates in there to hold the jaw to the skull.”
Justin says he doesn’t blame his family and he doesn’t blame the dog. He says he never would have let Jayden play with a dog he didn’t trust. The Pit Bull is male, unneutered, and is estimated to weigh 100 punds. Reportedly, the dog had never shown any sign of aggression before yesterday.
“Ever since she was a baby, she's been around this dog. It was just a freak accident,” her father said.
However, Jayden's grandfather, says since a family with a Pit Bull moved in across the street, the dog has been acting differently. "He'd be a little rough, a little crazy," he said.
Rebecca Lohnes, behavioral manager at Lollypop Farm, says "There isn't anything special about them that triggers to have a sudden onset of aggression. I don't think it's a pit bull issue at all,” she toldrochester.ynn.com
The Pit Bull was removed by Animal control and Justin told reporters what happens next with the animal doesn’t matter to him. It’s about Jayden now.
Jayden’s father, who is a tattoo artist in Rochester, is unable to work because he sustained injuries in the attack when he pried the dog off of his daughter, including having one of the dog's teeth go through his hand and a fundraising website has been set up by the family.
Justin said this isn’t a situation where they will file a police report.
Later reports indicate that the Pit Bulls in both incidents are expected to be euthanized.