Baby mauled by family dog; police investigate

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
This is the dog that police say attacked the baby By Mike Gertzman This is the dog that police say attacked the baby By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Police are investigating after a nine-month-old girl was mauled by the family dog on Tuesday afternoon.

The child was left alone for a brief period of time while her mother prepared a bath, according to Sgt. Michael Pooley with the Tempe Police Dept.

The mother heard a scream. When the mother found the little child bleeding from the head with the dog sitting next to her she immediately picked up her child and attempted to drive her to the children's hospital.

Police said a gate fell down and the dog attacked.

While driving to the hospital, with her child in one arm, she collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Dobson Road and Guadalupe Road in Mesa, disabling her vehicle.

The mother immediately exited the vehicle, and waved down another vehicle that had stopped, and asked that driver to rush her to the hospital. That driver took the mother and injured child to the front of Banner Desert Hospital where the mother got out with the child and waved down another vehicle.
The mother then got into that vehicle that transported them to the hospital's pediatric emergency room entrance where the child was admitted and treated for severe head injuries.

At this time the child is in critical condition with very severe head trauma. Tempe detectives are currently investigating this incident.
The family dog is described as an eight-year-old Akita that weighs 95 pounds.

Police said there were gates up around the home intended to keep the dog contained. The say the incident is tragic but it also might be criminal given the dog's history.

"There is a history of this dog attacking people in the family which is the unfortunate part," said Sgt. Pooley. "What happened about two years ago their ten-year-old daughter who was at the time eight years old was petting this dog and the dog bit her in the face and she needed stitches for that injury. Two months ago the dog attacked the mom and it bit her foot and the mom had to go to the hospital and get stitches on her foot also."

The mother was so frantic she was unable to even call 911, according to police.
Police are looking for any information to identify the two drivers that transported the mother and child to the hospital during this traumatic incident.

Anybody with information is asked to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.