Vicious dog hearing in Fall River for pit-mix that bit baby
A pitbull-mix got its day in court during a vicious dog hearing at Fall River Police headquarters on Monday after attacking a young girl last month.
The girl, who officials said is about two-years-old, was bitten on the head and in the leg on May 20 while her father was watching the dog at the owner's home. During the hearing, the father defended the dog, believing it only acted that way out of fear.
The dog is a four-year-old pit-mix named Diamond. Joshua Montesinos, 21, said he woke up that morning and let the dog outside.
He said that he noticed another dog coming down the street, so to avoid a possible confrontation, he rushed to get Diamond back into the home, and that's when the dog bit the young girl on the head.
"[The dog] just grabbed her and then I just kind of remember wrestling. I just opened her mouth," he said.
After the dog let up, she went after the girl's leg and latched on. Reports said that the dog had to be choked before it let go of the child.
The dog belongs to Brennah Medeiros, who said at the hearing that Diamond is animal aggressive.
"I'm already very careful. I don't bring my dog outside if I see anybody," Medeiros said.
Despite his daughter's injuries that required six total stitches on two separate locations on the back of her head, Montesinos was defending the dog at the hearing Monday.
"She's just a great dog and I would never see that happen and I understand it but it was like a perfect storm," he said. "She didn't seem aggressive at all to me it was just out of fear. Fight or flight instinct."
Animal Control Officer Cynthia Berard-Cadima said when she responded to the home "it was a pretty scary scene."
But Berard-Cadima said when the dog was in quarantine, it didn't seem too aggressive.
"Not a horribly bad dog," she said. "I think she may be a fear biter."
But Katenna Jones, an associate certified applied animal behaviorist, and board-certified animal behavior consultant said just because a dog is nice does not mean a similar incident won't happen again.
"The level of aggression where [the dog] bites and latches on to [someone], it's not acceptable. That's an extreme response," Jones said. "Ted Bundy was a very likable guy."
Jones went on to say that it comes down to something called 'bite inhibition', where a dog has the wherewithal to know how hard it needs to bite.
"[S]he's learned that anything less than that is not effective," Jones said. "So you can't teach a dog to bite less hard."
Another note from Jones is that a lot of dog bites occur in doorways. She said it's an emotional area for a dog, as they watch their owners leave the home, come back, and watch strangers enter the house.
Back at the hearing, Medeiros presented officers with a plan going forward, if they are allowed to keep Diamond.
The evidence from the hearing will be presented to the police chief, and a final decision on the fate of the dog will be decided.
The chief can choose to euthanize the dog or put certain restrictions in place.
ABC 6 is told the girl is doing just fine and she was released from the hospital on the same day of the attack.