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Pit bull mauls toddler
pit bull pic
Family-owned pit bull Smokey savagely bit a 3-year-old Winton boy on the face and hands. The dog was surrendered by the owners. Smokey will be tested for rabies and then euthanized. - photo by Photo Contributed

A 3-year-old Winton boy sustained severe injuries when the family dog suddenly and viciously attacked him, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The little boy was savagely bitten on his head and face, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

The boy was flown to a hospital in Fresno and is expected to recover from his injuries, Mackenzie said.

The attack was reported around 5 p.m. Monday in the 7000 block of Royalty Avenue in Winton.

The adult male pit bull “Smokey” was in the back yard when an older brother opened the patio door and the dog charged in.

“There was no provocation for the attack to the best of our knowledge and the dog went straight for the little boy,” MacKenzie said.

Family members were able to chase the dog back outside and prevent it from coming near the child until the time deputies arrived and took custody of the dog.

The dog was surrendered by the owners. MacKenzie said the dog will be tested for rabies and then euthanized.

No criminal charges have been filed at this time because there was no evidence of neglect and the dog had no history of this type of behavior, MacKenzie said.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.