A pit bull that was reported to have been contained ended up charging and biting two animal control officers Thursday in Riverside and was euthanized.
The officers arrived shortly after 10 a.m. in the 5700 block of Walter Street to investigate a report of a dog being involved in a previous bite, according to John Welsh, the public information officer for the Riverside Department of Animal Services.
Officers Shirley Rivera and Ramon Rodriguez intended to place the dog in quarantine and before arriving were told by a resident the animal would be secured, but according to department Commander Chris Mayer, the animal “rushed out of nowhere” moments after they arrived and attacked.
Rodriguez suffered bites to his thighs and right foot, despite the fact that he was wearing a boot.
“It latched onto his right leg and that’s when Officer Rivera used her pole to hit the dog so it would release itself from her colleague’s leg,” Welsh said. “As the dog let go, it attacked Officer Rivera, biting her in the stomach.”
The dog was eventually secured and put into the officers’ truck, at which point Rivera drove to a hospital so she and Rodriguez could receive treatment, Welsh said.
The dog, a 5-year-old named Chato, was relinquished by its owner and euthanized, Welsh said.
“This is a very unfortunate incident — and preventable,” Mayer said. “Our officers are used to handling vicious dogs and aggressive dogs. But when someone tells us they are going to secure a dog, we take that in good faith.”
Rodriguez and Rivera were treated at the hospital and released, Welsh said.