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Calif. Officer's K-9 Attacks Son, Leg Amputated

February 13, 2015  | 

A 4-year-old Southern California boy has lost part of his leg after he was attacked by his father's police dog over the weekend, reports the Daily Press.

According to the GoFundMe page created by a family friend, the boy "was seriously injured" when he was attacked by the dog on Sunday afternoon.

"The injury caused severe damage to the arteries and veins in his leg," the friend said on the GoFundMe page. "As a result of this terrible accident, [his] leg had to be amputated a few inches below the knee, and he will receive a prosthetic in its place."

Authorities said the boy was attacked on Sunday around 4:30 p.m. at his home. The boy's father is a Rialto (Calif.) Police Department officer whose police K-9, a Belgium Malinois named Jango, was in the backyard. While the officer was upstairs, the boy opened the sliding glass door and wandered into the backyard, where the dog attacked. Neighbors heard the boy screaming and were finally able to pry the dog's mouth off of the boy's leg.

Rialto Police Capt. Randy DeAnda said Jango is being kept in quarantine at the department's dog training center for at least 10 days per policy, and the results of the Rialto Police Department's investigation will determine the dog's fate.

Comments (24)

Displaying 1 - 24 of 24

EODK9Trainer @ 2/13/2015 3:09 PM

I think the dog's fate has already been determined. At least I hope so. This from a 28 year K9 handler/trainer. This dog cannot be trusted around anyone ever again after doing this.

EODK9Trainer @ 2/13/2015 3:09 PM

Prayers to the little boy and family.

kevCopAz @ 2/14/2015 7:15 AM

Agreed, sad but if this dog can not be trused around K9 officers own family, it is not to be trusted at all. WAY too aggressive. The K-9 dogs that I have known all are "pets" to the immediate family, never even heard of something like this before.This dog probably exhibited overly aggressive behavior before and probably should have been a wash out but for whatever reason was not. Sad.

Deputy King @ 2/14/2015 7:39 AM

There are a number of questions I have surrounding this case, having trained Police K9's for over 20 years. Why was the father allowed to be on a K9 unit with a dog that isn't familiar with the handler's family? Why was a 4 year old left alone downstairs while the father was upstairs?

charles butts @ 2/14/2015 9:03 AM


TERRY F. ZECH VAPD (RET) @ 2/14/2015 9:24 AM

I cannot imagine the father's horror that his partner would attack his child. If the dog was a stay at home with the officer. Generally as a MWD handler, any K-9 attacking without provocation was either seriously put through extra training or immediately put down. In my career I have seen two K-9's like that one in Lackland AFB and one in Puerto Rico. Both were euphanized. My sincere condolences to your son officer and good luck with the investigation for your partner.

Ruff One @ 2/14/2015 10:09 AM

This dog needs retraining and a suspension?

Shibby95 @ 2/14/2015 11:31 AM

Why would the department kill this K9? Are all K9's suppose to be docile while near other people without their handlers? Just curious?

Allgood @ 2/14/2015 11:46 AM

As a handlet and trainer, in your experience what would have set the dog off? Prayers for the boy and family!

Ron Eltzeroth @ 2/14/2015 12:52 PM

As a retired trainer, in my opinion, the K-9 can never be trusted again. Trust and control are two vital elements.

Charles Jastre @ 2/14/2015 1:57 PM

This is a tragedy but, does not make sense; there's something else involved here.
This is a certified trained k9.
Something triggered this response.
We need to find out how this happened.
We need to understand what could have prevented this.
This could be an aberration but in 50 plus years of working with "police dogs", their behavior has been more predictable than human behavior.

There are no accidental discharges.
There are only negligent or intentional discharges.

John Kevin toney @ 2/14/2015 6:24 PM

Really? Sealed fate wow.

Steve Josephs @ 2/15/2015 3:15 PM

Sorry for the little boys injury but You train an agressive breed as an attack/GP dog then penalise it for doing what it was taught to do. It is not the dogs fault but maybe the departments policy on housing such animals. As a 30year CO I would have that dog at my side in any prison anytime...

Andrew @ 2/15/2015 5:53 PM

The dog has been trained to attack so can obviously be ferocious. The child should have been kept well away from the dog, it seems that the parents forgot to lock the door, and as a result the child sustained an injury and the dog will unfortunately probably be put down. Sad ending for a dog that had probably given so much in service. The poor dog should ideally be retired and re-homed to a more suitable family (without children).

Leonard Mather @ 2/15/2015 8:40 PM

Forensic Psychologist (35 years) has provided me with an abundance of information regarding dogs of all breeds. Dogs, like people, have their own perceptions that they process in their own unique way at the level of the amygdala. This dog was trained regarding causes for "attack." That is being evaluated, and I would expect that he will be put down, and not put out to pasture. Regarding the many dog attacks I have encountered, most have dealt with children, and some were infants. In those cases, the dogs (of all breeds) severely mauled or killed the babies. These dogs fell into a category that is described the dog owner/mothers as doting on the dog, cuddling the dog, sleeping with the dog and "making over the dog." Now comes the baby. The mother now is displaying those very same behaviors toward the infant/baby/child. The dog's perceptions enter the picture. The dog's brain lacks a cortical level that humans have for Executive Management. But the dog's Amygdala is active.

notmeofficer @ 2/15/2015 9:52 PM

Yes... they will probably destroy this highly trained alpha dog.... and ultimately this is a tragedy... but at the risk of being harsh,,, a human created this dog... and a human potentially erred....

I am sad... the dog does not need to be executed.

tom @ 2/16/2015 5:10 AM

Yes the dog's fate should have already been determined. From a common sense point of view, along with my 2 cents as a Chief, this dog is a liability and needs to be put down. Had friends with a shephard that they had for 10 years when it bit and caused a serious laceration in their daughter's face. They put it down and cryed for 2 days, but they also knew what was the more important thing to do. The same thing needs to happen here, people are still more important than any dog. This is from a life time dog owner. Sorry Jango.

Trigger @ 2/16/2015 7:01 AM

What we must always remember is that they are animals. This is truely an unfortuante situation for the boy and his family. In addition it is an unfortunate situation for the Rialto Police Department.

Deputy H. King @ 2/16/2015 9:23 AM

All these responses are excellent! But again, my only question was why was this dog allowed a handler with small children? And why would the master trainer allow a dog to go out knowing it's unpredictable? A dog like that needs to be with a handler that LIVES ALONE!! But I would first put it with a more experienced handler, then reevaluate it after a couple months.

bo2234 @ 2/16/2015 11:01 AM

Folks, those of you who have made some comments in regard to what to do with the dog and claim to be handlers/trainers are suspect themselves, especially when one can not use the proper terminology. This dog is a tool in the police arsenal, not a pet, and should not be treated as such. Some K-9's have the ability to socialize with their pack or family, some do not. It is the handler's job to determine that and either socialize or segregate the K-9 accordingly. I have not seen how long the handler has had the K-9 or if the animal was even familiar with the child.
An unfortunate set of circumstances led to a horrible outcome for the child and family. It should NOT be a horrible outcome for the dog. It will have to be a collaborative decision by the dept, handler and family if the team remains, but the K-9 should not be discarded because of the incident if it does what it is supposed to on the streets.
Children make perfect decoys. Anyone who knows the craft knows what I speak of.

Pup @ 2/16/2015 11:06 AM

@Charles..I agree and FYI to those without K9 experience, accidental bites and incidents do happen. However, they are rare. Just like us in LE, an incident in LE paints a black eye in the public view. I will tell you this fact, your home pet is more agressive than the typical trained K9 and accidental incidents happen without the public knowledge. Something happen that day which caused dog to react which wasn't normal.

Narc with a Bark @ 2/17/2015 7:07 AM

@BO2234 - well said! The handler of the K9 should have made sure all access leading to the dog's territory were secure. The K9 should not be punished for human error. The dog is a weapon/tool and should have been cared for as such, just like a duty weapon should be secured -- so should the K9.

Pup @ 2/17/2015 12:03 PM

@Tom...Sir, with all due respect to your position, you and many others should know the facts before making a statement about the K9 being put down. All K9's and LE personnel are liabilities. Just because this incident occurred, doesn't mean the dog is a liability and needs to be put down.
As for @King, a dog is a dog. They are all unpredictable even when trained. Like any incident, obtain the facts first before making judgement.

TBOW426 @ 2/17/2015 12:04 PM

This is a tragedy, but bo2234 hit it square on the head. Police working dogs are not pets. I have been a handler and trainer for 25 years and the only thing I can say with 100% certainty is that at some point in the dog's career he/she will do something you do not expect. I cringe every time I see a photo of a handler's baby/child laying on the dog or playing with the dog. The dog is a piece of dangerous equipment...we do not let children play with our pepper spray, Taser, or handgun so why the dog? I went to a seminar taught by a German trainer. He was blunt, but right when he said American police dogs are generally too fat and we attach way to much sentiment to them. They are not family pets and should not be treated as such. When the K-9 is off duty he should be in a 4'x8' kennel where he rests. He should get out when it is time to do something with the handler. Not sure I agree with all of that, but it has merit.

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