Tempe family's dog euthanized after mauling - Tucson News Now

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Tempe family's dog euthanized after mauling

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The 8-year-old Akita that mauled the Tempe infant. (Source: Tempe Police Department) The 8-year-old Akita that mauled the Tempe infant. (Source: Tempe Police Department)
The animal is a large breed of dog from the northern regions of Japan. (Source: Tempe Police Department) The animal is a large breed of dog from the northern regions of Japan. (Source: Tempe Police Department)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

A family dog from Tempe has been euthanized after it mauled the family's 9-month-old girl.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Melissa Gable said late Thursday afternoon that the family of the 8-year-old, 95-pound Akita asked that she be euthanized and tested for rabies. The dog was in quarantine in a Phoenix shelter.

Gable said early Friday afternoon that the dog had been euthanized and will be sent to the state lab for rabies testing Friday. It will take a few days to get the results from the testing, Gable said.

The infant is in extremely critical condition at Cardon Children's Medical Center after being mauled by the dog.

The 9-month-old girl was attacked after being left alone for a brief time Tuesday afternoon, according to Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley.

He said the girl's mother found the infant bleeding from the head with the dog sitting next to the infant.

The mother immediately picked up her daughter and tried to drive her to a hospital, with the baby in her lap.

On the way there, she got into a car accident in the intersection of Dobson and Guadalupe roads in Mesa, disabling her vehicle, Pooley said.

The mother flagged down another car and got the infant to the front of Banner Desert Medical Center.

She then waved down another vehicle whose driver took them to the pediatric emergency room entrance.

The infant was admitted to Cardon Children's Medical Center, where she is being treated for severe head injuries.

Pooley said this isn't the first time the dog has turned on family members.

Two years ago, the dog bit the mother's then-8-year-old daughter. She required stitches to her lip.

Pooley said it also bit the mother's foot just a few months ago. That bite injury also required stitches.

CBS 5 News asked why the dog was still in the home as of Wednesday afternoon.

"That's exactly what we're asking ourselves right now," said Pooley. "Is there some type of charges that the family will be faced with, whether it's endangerment or neglect? There's a list of things that we are looking at. Obviously, our concern is for this little child. She's 9 months old, and she's never going to be the same."

Wednesday evening, Tempe police told CBS 5 News the mother told detectives the dog had been euthanized at a veterinary clinic.

But they haven't been able to confirm that.

Officials with Maricopa Animal Care and Control said state law prevents them from forcibly removing a pet if it bites a member of its household.

They may only do so if the pet bites a stranger.

The incident remains under investigation, and police haven't released the name of the mother or child.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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