A pack of dogs attacked 5 year-old Destiny Colon, from San Bernardino County, leaving her in the hospital on a ventilator. The dogs escaped from their owner’s fenced-in yard before attacking Destiny and her mother, Josie Arellano, as well as 3 of her other siblings. The other three children received treatment for minor bite injuries.
The dogs, described as a pack of pit bulls by The Press Enterprise, attacked Arellano and her children while they were walking to a nearby park. Several witnesses to the dog attack rushed to help, including a neighborhood boy who chased the dogs off by throwing rocks.
Destiny received treatment at nearby Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, where she was reportedly in critical condition and on a ventilator. Dr. James Eguchi, who was treating Destiny, said, “She is doing quite well, but still needs a lot of support.”
Destiny suffered from broken ribs, punctured lungs and bite wounds. Doctors said that she did not suffer any brain or cardiac damage.
Once officers arrived at the owner’s house, one of the pit bulls reportedly charged an officer, who shot and killed the dog on site. Officers took the surviving dogs to San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Police have not filed charges yet, but are looking into possibly applying a state penal code that would charge the dog owner with a felony, basically treating his pets as “trained attack dogs,” according to Sgt. Jeff Decker.
The family is still dealing with the traumatic attack and Destiny’s recovery. “I thought they were going to eat her alive right there,” Arellano said.
“There should be justice,” added Maria Villegas, Destiny’s grandmother. Officers have not released the dog owner’s name.