Toddler in stable but critical condition after pit bull attack

Jeannie Blaylock anchors. 9/6/2016

MELROSE, Fla.—After being attacked by a pit bull at a home in Melrose, a 22-month-old is in stable but critical condition at UF Health in Gainesville Tuesday, authorities say.

The toddler was attacked by the dog at a property on Melrose Landing Boulevard around 2 p.m. on Labor Day, deputies say. The adult that called 911 reportedly put the toddler in their vehicle and drove around looking for help before meeting rescue workers at a Dollar General in west Putnam County.

Animal control workers took all seven pit bulls off the property and are being held in an undisclosed location, says Captain Gator DeLouch with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. Decisions about what to do with the animals is up to the health department and animal control staff. 

A criminal investigation is ongoing by the Sheriff's Office into the home.

Investigators learned Tuesday that the toddler lived at the home with the dogs. He was outside and alone when the dog attacked. 

In the ambulance, the child experienced cardiac arrest and then was revived. The child underwent surgery when he got to the hospital after the dog bit his face and arm.

Originally, deputies said the toddler and his mother were visiting the home of a family friend, but later found out that the child lived at the home.

The 22-month-old will likely have to undergo multiple surgeries before being released from the hospital.

This story continues to develop. Stay with First Coast News for updates.


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