By Lindsey Collom, Tucson Citizen
Authorities say a 10-year-old boy was seriously injured in a mauling attack by three dogs in Arizona City.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said the boy had just exited a school bus Wednesday afternoon and was walking home with his younger brother when they were approached by two Rottweiler mixes and a pit-bull mix.
The boys yelled at the canines to ward them off, but authorities said the dogs continued to advance.
A Sheriff’s Office statement said the victim’s brother ran for help as the dogs attacked the 10-year-old, biting him in the face, neck, torso and legs.
The boy’s brother returned with other children and kicked at the dogs to stop the mauling. The statement said the dogs fled after neighbors began to strike them with baseball bats.
The victim was flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, Pinal County Animal Care & Control officers detained two of the dogs at a nearby home, and a third was detained in an area east of the attack.
The dogs are being quarantined at the county Animal Care & Control facility in Casa Grande and will remain there for at least 10 days while an investigation is complete, county spokeswoman Heather Murphy said. The dogs will be tested for rabies and, if cleared, will likely be returned to the owner.
Authorities said the owner has been contacted, but it was not immediately clear whether Animal Care has had previous contact with him or her.
Once an investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.
Additionally, the county has the option to cite the owner for the bite incident and for having dogs at large, Murphy said.
Update January 22, 2011 11:43am - The following article is from Casa Grande Dispatch:
Dogs that attacked boy held by county
The owner of the dogs that attacked a 10-year-old boy after he got off a school bus Wednesday afternoon has surrendered the animals to Pinal County Animal Care and Control, a county spokeswoman said Thursday.
Animal Control is investigating the incident, and the dogs are in a 10-day hold mandated by law to check for rabies. The three dogs face the possibility of being euthanized, and Animal Control will determine whether any citations or charges against the dogs’ owner should be forwarded to prosecutors.
The boy sustained severe injuries from head to toe and is expected to remain in Phoenix Children’s Hospital for about a week, county spokeswoman Heather Murphy said. She added that the owner of the three dogs feels terrible and has been asking for updates on the boy’s condition.
The owner said the dogs have never been aggressive and told investigators they crawled through a hole under a gate, Murphy said. One witness said that only two dogs were involved in the attack.
“Our Animal Control officers are very grateful for the way neighbors came to the aid of the bite victim,” Murphy said. “Their quick action may have saved the boy’s life. The officers wish the boy a speedy recovery from what must have been a terrible, traumatic incident in his young life.”
One of the three dogs is a pet that the owner has had since it was a puppy. The owner has had another for more than three years, and the third was a stray taken in about eight months ago.
Sources said the dogs are pit bulls and Rottweilers.
Update January 22, 2010 4:33pm - The following article is by Nicole Howley, from Justice News Flash:
Pitbulls bit 10-year-old’s face in vicious Arizona City attack
Three dogs viciously attacked a 10-year-old boy after he got off his school bus. The dog attack occurred around 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, as reported by ABC15.
Spokesman Tim Gaffney with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said the victim had just got off the school bus with several other children, when three pitbulls approached the kids. The kids reportedly yelled at the dogs to leave them alone, while they continued to walk home.
The victim told his 5-year-old brother and other kids to go get help as the dogs mauled him.
The pitbulls bit the boy on his face, neck, torso and legs. The other kids came to the aide of the boy and began kicking the dogs, while neighbors ran out with baseball bats and hit the dogs.
“The white pitbull came at me and I hit him full force in the head,” said neighbor Allen Rogers. “I thought I killed him. I hit him that hard.”
The pitbulls ran to a nearby home where Pinal County Animal Control officers detained two of the dogs. The third dog was apprehended, and all three dogs are in the custody of Animal Control while the investigation is ongoing.
Responding emergency crews airlifted the boy to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
Investigators have contacted the dog’s owners.
The boy’s stepfather lost an ear and half of his face in the dog attack.
Investigations are underway.
Update January 23, 2011 7:20pm - The following article is by Britt Moreno, KSAZ:
Boy Who Was Mauled by Dogs Returns Home
Jason Hamilton lost his ear in the attack
A FOX follow up on an Arizona City boy who was attacked by three big dogs – the boy was released from a local hospital on Saturday.
Jason Hamilton, 10, is back at home. His uncle told FOX 10’s Britt Moreno he is trying to get back to normal by spending time with his parents and siblings.
Hamilton had just gotten off a school bus Wednesday afternoon with his younger brother when three large dogs charged them. Authorities said the dogs had dug a hole underneath their owner's fence.
Hamilton pushed his brother out of the way and told him to run.
The boy was viciously attacked. One of the pit bulls tore a chunk out of Hamilton’s face. He also had bites on his arm, leg and torso.
He also lost one of his ears after it was bitten off.
His uncle said the boy is in high spirits and resilient.
Pinal County Animal Control has picked up the three dogs. They are under a rabies watch.
A spokesperson for Animal Control said they are still talking with neighbors to try and understand which dogs attacked Hamilton.
To Send a Check or Money Order to Support Jason:
Jason Hamilton Jr. c/o Stephanie Hamilton
P.O. Box 2905
Arizona City, AZ 85123