UPDATE: Toddler Hospitalized After Pit Bull Mix Attack; Parents Face Child Endangerment Charges

The 2-year-old boy is being treated at Oakland Children's Hospital for severe lacerations to his head and face. Once released, he will be placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.


Updated 4:35 p.m.

The parents of a Castro Valley toddler who was severely injured after being attacked by the family dog, face criminal charges of child endangerment according to Alameda County Sheriff's Office authorities.

Sgt. JD Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said that a 2-year-old boy suffered severe lacerations to his head and face and may need surgery but is expected to survive.

According to Nelson, the attack occurred in the 2100 block of Gary Dr. right after 2 a.m. Deputies responded to a call from the boy's parents around 3:30 a.m.

The boy was initially sent to in Castro Valley before being transfered to Oakland Children's Hospital.

Nelson said when deputies arrived at the family's home, they found the house unsanitary and dangerous for habitation with animal feces and hazardous items within a child's reach. Once released from the hospital, Child Protective Services will take custody of the toddler, according to Nelson.

Both parents are facing criminal charges of child endangerment due to the condition of their home.

The boy's mother, Brandi Gomes, 30, was initially arrested but then released to to get treated for injuries. It is unclear on whether the injury was received during the dog attack. The boy's father, Jared Perkins, 37, was arrested and sent to Santa Rita Jail.

currently have the 6-year-old pit bull/German Shepard mix under quarantine in Dublin. Nelson said it will be checked for the rabies virus and then go to a vicious dog hearing within the next 30 days.

Nelson told the Oakland Tribune that investigators have received conflicted stories from the boy's parents about the location of the attack and are still working to piece together what happened. Deputies were told the attack may have occurred somewhere in the house but investigators were unable to find evidence, such as "blood," relating to this claim.

This is the second East Bay dog attack that has happened within 24 hours.

She was attacked in front of a home in the 4300 block of Rose Lane in Concord. Officials say the euthanized dog’s tissues are being tested for rabies. Results will arrive in a few days.

Both children continue to be treated at Oakland Children’s Hospital while the attacks remain under investigation.


Michael Allen May 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Look, I know that pitbull owners love them, say they're the best lil' doggies EVER, but I'm sorry, they seem to be one of the only dogs that make the news about DESTROYING children and turning on owners in the most savage ways. Could someone clarify with any verified/verifiable numbers on serious attacks on kids, and what dog is most often the culprit? Dogsbite.org suggests for 2011, over 70% of fatal attacks were pit bulls, but they are only 5% of the population. Does anyone have contradictory statistics or is this accurate? I hope this child recovers 100%.
Jill May 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
So I notice that the dog attack in Castro Valley mentions a Pit Bull, then later it's a Pit Bull / German Shepard mix. As alway, the Pit Bull is pointed out. Yet in the Concord case, no mention of what kind of dog that was!!!. People, not ALL Pit Bulls are bad dogs, they are very loving, sweet, devoted and very smart, they are just misunderstood by most. Any family dog and turn in a minute - again, it is how you train and raise your dog that is important.
Leah Hall May 09, 2012 at 07:49 PM
My daughter and I are training to be volunteers at the Oakland SPCA. The coordinator reported last week that Pit Bulls are extremely maligned in the media and that this perpetuates the stereotype in our society. Not unsuprisingly, folks that want to look tough on the street also foster the negative image by putting stud collars, etc. on their pet pitbulls too. Owning 2 terriers myself (a Cairns/Westie and a Jack Russel) I will say that these breeds really need exercise and attention. They were bred to be /working/ dogs so merely laying around with "time on their paws" is definitely not a good idea. They get creative (as in creatively destructive) if not cared for properly. "Pit Bull Bias in the Media" http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/advocacy-center/animal-laws-about-the-issues/pit-bull-bias-in-the-media.aspx
Leah Hall May 09, 2012 at 08:24 PM
re: contradictory statistics Hi Michael, The SPCA and ESPCA publically refute these types of assertions. Here are some links I thought you might be interested in checking out: http://fataldogattacks.com/ http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/
Marga Lacabe May 09, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Take a look at the dog: http://www.insidebayarea.com/portlet/article/html/render_gallery.jsp?articleId=20576137&siteId=181&startImage=1 It might have a drop of German Shepherd blood, but it definitely isn't dominant. And Jill, of course not all pit bulls are bad dogs, but their seem to be many more bad pitbulls than, let's say, golden retrievers.
Marga Lacabe May 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I actually went and looked at that article and it's hard to believe it doesn't come from the Onion. They draw the "pit bull media bias" conclusions based on the fact that some time in 2007, there were four reported dog bites in four consecutive days. Three of them involved non-pitbulls (as far as we know, two were said to be "mixed breed") and they got barely any media attention. The one that involved pitbulls made national news. Alas, they conclude, this means there is pit bull media bias! Now, the article doesn't say much about each attack, so I went and looked up the one that made national news. It involved a woman that was peacefully sleeping on her bed, when two pitbullls got into her house through the doggy door and viciously attacked her. I daresay that that story would have been covered no matter what type of dog was responsible. Indeed, I can only imagine how much media it'd had gotten if they'd been chihuahuas!
Leah Hall May 09, 2012 at 08:52 PM
“Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late: the jest is over, and the tale has had its effect.” - Jonathan Swift The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression (an excerpt from the forward) "THE PIT BULL PLACEBO explains how function, myth, media, and the marginal elements in our society can combine to demonize a group of dogs, however precisely or vaguely defined, and to endanger our bond with all dogs. The first example for which we have detailed records is of the group of dogs called bloodhounds. In the mid-19th century, public attitudes toward these dogs paralleled attitudes toward their most controversial function, pursuing runaway slaves. Eventually, these bloodhounds fell from view, and we pushed other dogs into the spotlight, including the German Shepherd Dog and the Doberman Pinscher. By the 1980’s, a new dog had swept all the others aside: any dog that was called a “pit bull”. But there was more happening than just the substitution of one dog for another. Urbanization and the reach and power of our information technology has intensified the plight of the dogs called pit bull, and made it qualitatively different from that which any other dog had faced. How did this happen? http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/publications/230603563_Pit%20Bull%20Placebo.pdf
Leah Hall May 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I think you are referring to a small set of what I understand to be "talking points" on a web page. Perhaps not? In any event, the page includes links to more extensive reports, including "The Pit Bull Placebo" Frankly, I find this all new ground. I'd never questioned my own fear of the breed, but a rising unease in the late 80's sounds about right. My daughter and I are sure to get lots of firsthand experience with them if we stay comitted to volunteering with the SPCA. There are many pitbulls that need a good home in the Bay Area. Sadly, I'm under the impression that deserving animals are very hard to place and many get euthanized in our county shelters. It is such a big problem that the SPCA will spade or neuter Pitbulls (and only Pitbulls) free of charge to adoptive families.
Leah Hall May 09, 2012 at 10:11 PM
98% of fatal dog attacks involve unneutered male dogs, according to this article in Northside San Francisco. (Dachshunds, by the way, are the number one biting dog in America, followed by Chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers.) "Statistically, with the exception of breeding frenzy or pack mentality, female dogs don’t kill. Spayed female dogs, except in pack situations, are also rarely killers, as are neutered males. The fact that 98 percent of fatal dog attacks involve unneutered male dogs should be a huge red flag to lawmakers in Sacramento, some of whom I have talked to for years about this very topic. The problem is, of course, a political one – dog breeders who rake in thousands of dollars don’t want to be regulated. Our lawmakers unfortunately are mostly neutered males, afraid to take a stand against a noisy vocal minority. The sad fact is that backyard breeders carelessly throw dogs together bought on Craig’s List with no regard for health or temperament. They sell those dogs to other idiots, who in turn produce more badly bred dogs, and the cycle continues." http://www.northsidesf.com/ns/sep11/op_editorsnote.html
Leah Hall May 10, 2012 at 02:50 AM
(note the mention of SL) "..Modern-day pit bulls, however, are by far the most over-bred, abused and neglected dog breed in America, yet there are remarkably few attacks, fatal or otherwise. People sometimes use the rationale that “you don’t see golden retrievers killing people.” As I pointed out earlier, golden retrievers have killed people – but more important, by and large, they live pampered lives with responsible owners. Pit bulls are rarely so lucky. Just days after the Pacifica incident was splashed across every front page in San Francisco, another much more common pit bull scenario was quietly buried or not reported at all: a starving puppy found in a San Leandro marijuana grow house. Police discovered the dog when they were called to the address by neighbors who said the home’s two occupants were chasing another man around with guns. The pit bull was “in distress” and taken to an emergency veterinary hospital by law enforcement, but you won’t hear about this story, or the hundreds of others like it that play out every day. The fact is we always hear the sensational stories about the one in a million pit bull that attacks a human, but unless it’s high profile like the Michael Vick case, we don’t hear about the millions of mistreated pit bulls throughout America that – despite being beaten, starved, tortured, left at the end of a chain, or forced to fight other dogs – never turn on those abusive humans, or any other humans for that matter."
Paul Vargas May 10, 2012 at 05:38 AM
The Pit Bull breed is the choice breed of the low intelligence, knuckle dragging, low-life dregs of society. They emotionally, mentally and physically abuse these animals for their own demented entertainment. Don't blame the breed for the actions of these fools. About 9 years ago my brother and I were at my grandmother's house on Stoakes Avenue cleaning the yard. My brother left the house and I noticed he made a quick left on Pershing Avenue. I thought something was wrong so I headed down there. What occured was that a Pit Bull which was abused by a sagging pants, backwards ball cap wearing, scumbag got loosed and was wandering around, and attacked a dog in its backyard. A neighbor came out and was attempting to break up the dogs by throwing rocks, the pit bull wouldn't break loose. A second neighbor came out and put a couple .38 slugs into the dogs head and that finally broke them loose. The police arrived and as they were investigating the incident, well here come the dirtbags to claim their dog. Of course monkey see monkey get mad because his dog was shot. Animal Control and the two SLPD officers bluntly told the punk to STFU or be taken to jail. Point of my post...if an animal is bred to be a savage by a savage then it will attack.
Michael Allen May 10, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Thank you, Leah. Unfortunately the prelim reports from the second link for 2011 don't break out dogs by breed. They reference in 2010 (2) reports that were less than accurate in media reports, but don't gather or present any numbers at the state or national level for attacks by breed. The Dogsbite.org seem to be very forward in referencing the sources they use for compiling stats. I'm currently inclined to give more weight to that site at this time since they appear to be using and referencing multiple sources. I fully accept that the media needs to sell stories, but they know to be careful or be sued. That's why I like multiple source citation.
Michael Allen May 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I checked out their "Final" reports as well. They seem to be more of the, "If we don't have DNA or breeding documents, we will say, "Undetermined", almost as if their agenda is to support their case versus doing research and accepting the most likely outcome as at least probable. If there are a lot of breeds that look like pits but aren't, then I'd agree, that's an issue that should be resolved with better reporting. Perhaps even requiring LE agencies to collect DNA from the dog after a serious attack for analysis in order to produce some real, unbiased breed reporting.
David May 10, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Dogs are like people in many ways. If you mistreat a dog from puppyhood on, it is more likely to be aggressive, maladjusted, etc. But even if you treat a dog well from puppyhood on, there are still those that become aggressive. And of course, many puppies that are mistreated grow up to be fine dogs. I'm not sure what kind of parents these people are, but from the article it appears they aren't good ones to their own child or to their dog. Despite Marga's and Leah's best efforts though, you can't require people to have a license before breeding.
Leah Hall May 10, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Point taken. Hopefully public awareness will make a dent in the problem. Buy a pet on Craig's list from a backyard breeder, or a pet store (which are supplied by puppy mills) then we are merely perpetuating the market and a cruel cycle. Adopt a pet from an organization like the SPCA, whose mission is animal welfare, then you will get detailed information on the habits and personality of the dog. These animals undergo extensive health and behavioral evaluation by professional veternarians as well. Here are a few dogs up for adoption that my daughter and I met last week (we'll see them again tonight): Daysi (striking and gentle) http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22905312?rvp=1 Paola (attrative and anxious to please) http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22811155?rvp=1 Pumpkin (put on your jogging shoes and get ready to boogie, canine style) http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22551712 Rocky (a handsome sweetheart ready for action!) http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22772290?rvp=1
Leah Hall May 11, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Just back from our training session at the East Bay SPCA. They have this volunteer stuff down and the animals up for adoption are adorable. Paola was taking a walk with a handler and putting on the charm as we wrapped up.....
Leah Hall May 12, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Thank you, East Bay! The following "pit bull" versions of man's best friend at the East Bay SPCA have a great high note upon which we might end this string... Daysi, Pumpkin, and Rocky have been matched with responsible and loving homes. Paola is waiting her perfect match. Fingers crossed.
Rob Rich May 12, 2012 at 02:45 AM
A local jurisdiction may elect to require dog owners to spay/neuter their pets, or register as breeders & demonstrate competence, under public health, safety & welfare powers. Pits can be beautiful animals but they suffer from a weird kind of popularity that lands them with horrible owners with frightening frequency.


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