A dog was expected to be euthanized after biting a five-year-old boy at least twice in Thermal, according to Riverside County authorities.
The incident occurred Friday shortly before 4 p.m. on a ranch-style property in the 88300 block of Avenue 57 (map), Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said in a news release.
The boy was playing in a discarded weed-eater box that he had turned into a costume when the two-year-old male German shepherd mix named Pickett approached him.
After the boy removed his costume, the dog apparently “freaked out” and bit him at least two times in the face and arm, according to Animal Control Officer Gerald Duchene.
“As soon as the little boy took off that box, the dog charged him,” Duchene said in the news release. “It’s hard to say whether the dog was spooked out when suddenly a child appeared from under the box, but he went out after the boy.”
The dog was normally tethered within the fenced in property, and the owner wasn’t sure how he got loose. Welsh said that state law mandates that dogs can’t be tethered for extended periods of time, and that a “trolley system” can be used to legally keep a dog from escaping and to protect others.
The owners surrendered Pickett for “human euthanasia,” according to Welsh.
He was being held at a local lab for testing, as the dog was not current with his rabies vaccines, Welsh said.
The child was believed to have been taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to Duchene.