A pit bull who attacked and mauled a 2-year-old at the home of his babysitter in Oxnard has been captured and quarantined, police said.
The dog escaped after the Sunday attack and was at large until it was captured Monday by Oxnard Animal Control, according to Monica Munoz, a spokeswoman with the Oxnard Police Department.
The child sustained serious injuries to his face and was bitten several times on his neck and head, Munoz said.
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He was in stable condition Monday afternoon, according to Sheila Murphy, spokeswoman for the Ventura County Healthcare Agency.
It is believed the boy was holding food when the attack occurred, Munoz said.
Authorities believe the pit bull’s owner is the babysitter’s brother, who is facing several municipal code violations, Munoz said.
Three other dogs were found at the house.
"He was cited for multiple municipal code violations, including the dog not being on a leash. Also the fact that the dog did bite the child and there was no provocation on the part of the child," Munoz said. "Also, he had three other dogs, and they didn’t have licenses; they didn’t have proof of rabies vaccinations,"
The bitten toddler was transported to Ventura County Medical Center with severe but not life-threatening face wounds.
"When the officer arrived they notified the ambulance immediately because" Munoz said.
Police said that after the dog attacked the child, the owner put the dog out, and then the dog ran off and disappeared. Neighbors said they have not seen the pit bull since Sunday’s attack.
The boy remains in stable condition, but animal control is still searching for the missing dog.
"It’s critical that we find the dog just for the benefit of the child because of the fact that we really need to determine if the dog has rabies," Munoz said. "In addition to which, if a dog has bitten a human being there’s the potential that he might do this again, and so this dog is a danger to anyone that he may come in contact with."
Sunday afternoon a knock on the door of the South "J" Street house where the incident happened went unanswered. Later, after a TV news report was broadcast, group of people emerged from the house and berated the news crew for its coverage, disputing the police account of multiple bites, insisting the child had been bitten only once.
Another individual in the group, who did not identify himself, said the dog had been located, but this could not be confirmed.