This one-year-old boy has been left in a critical condition after being viciously mauled by five pit bulls that ran up to him while he was playing in a front garden with his siblings and dragged him off down the street before “ripping his face apart”.
The toddler’s distraught father reportedly said: “His face was completely ripped apart and his skull was exposed. His jaw was torn apart and teeth were lost.”
The incident took place in the city of Spencer, which is located in Oklahoma County in the south-central US state of Oklahoma, at approximately 2.30pm on Sunday, 20th February.
The child, who has been named as one-year-old J. J. Rodriguez, was left horrifically injured in the attack.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) issued a statement saying: “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in investigating after a one-year-old boy was mauled by a Pit Bull Sunday afternoon.
“Police were called to a home on Daryl Lane around 2:30pm.
“When they arrived, they found the one-year-old suffering severe injuries. The toddler was taken to the hospital and the dog was seized.
“The child did not live at the home, but was a neighbour.
“Police have been called to the home several times on complaints that several pit bulls that lived in the home had been running loose.
“In Oklahoma, dog owners are required to have control of their pets.”
It is currently unclear if the four other dogs have also been seized.
The toddler is currently fighting for his life in hospital and his grandmother, named as Delfina Wright, said: “There’s seven teams of doctors right now fighting for J. J.
“May God please touch every doctor’s hands.”
She added: “He doesn’t deserve this, he’s a baby.
“He needs justice to be done.”
Aaron Brilbeck, a spokesperson for the OCSO, said: “The family has had several citations regarding dogs running loose.”
The OCSO is currently investigating the incident.
The Spencer City Code reportedly stipulates that locals are forbidden from possessing pit bulls, even if they are from a mixed breed, and are only allowed to own up to four dogs.
City councillor Tonni Canaday was quoted as saying that she was “absolutely heartbroken” over the incident, adding that there was “no reason” it should have happened.
Canaday, who was reportedly an animal control officer before becoming a councilwoman, said: “My next step will be again to bring before the council the steps that we can put in place to make sure animal control is running smoothly.”
Delfina Wright, the child’s grandmother, took to Facebook to share information about the situation and to ask people to pray for little J. J.
She also asked for anyone with legal advice to get in touch. A fundraiser has been set up on GoFundMe seeking “Justice for baby J. J.”
At the time of writing, it had raised USD 18,024 out of a USD-25,000 goal, with over 400 people donating after it was set up just one day ago (www.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-baby-jj).
The fundraiser summary, which was authored by the victim’s father, Jose Rodriguez, states that the young boy was playing outside with his siblings “on a rare warm February day when he was viciously mauled by 5 of the neighbors pit bulls”.
The young boy’s distraught dad said that “his face was completely ripped apart and his skull was exposed his jaw was torn apart n teeth were lost he’s currently in critical condition”.
The dad said that he is the sole provider for the family of nine and he works two jobs to provide for his wife and seven children.
Speaking about J. J., he said that the baby is “the sweetest goofiest happiest most loving baby boy ever not to mention the best big brother ever”.
He asked for people to keep baby J. J. and his family in their prayers.