Boy in serious condition after dog attack

LIHUE — A 2-year-old child is in serious condition after being attacked by a family dog on Tuesday in Puhi.

Kauai police officers were called to Wena Street about 11 a.m. for a report of a dangerous dog complaint, said county spokeswoman Sarah Blane.

The boy was bitten on the face, neck and back by a dog, according to a preliminary investigation.

The child was initially transported to Wilcox Memorial Hospital and has since been medevaced to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in serious condition. The incident remains under investigation.

Kauai Humane Society Executive Director Penny Cistaro confirmed a large, muscular, mature gray adult pit bull was surrendered to humane officers by its family.

“The child is a member of the family that owned the dog and they wanted it surrendered to KHS to have it euthanized,” Cistaro said. “It was euthanized.”

The dog weighed around 80 to 85 pounds and had a nervous and hesitant demeanor when brought in, she said. This is not unusual for an animal in a new and strange environment.

Humane society officers also responded to the home but did not learn details of the attack. The family was by then at the Wilcox emergency room with their boy.

“It is still unclear what happened,” Cistaro said. “Given what we do know, it was very serious bite.”

About a dozen police vehicles were at the ER after Kauai Police Dispatch called for officers after reports the family was distraught and inconsolable.

The dog was put down immediately, in part because there is no rabies threat in Hawaii, so there was no medical reason to hold the dog for a 10-day quarantine.

It was Cistaro’s understanding the dog and the children were separated in the home.

Small children and their family dogs are usually wonderful together, but as a rule of thumb, Cistaro said they should be supervised when together. A child can trip over an animal, or it might want food in a child’s hand.

“All kinds of accidents can occur even in the best of situations,” Cistaro said.

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