SEVERNA PARK, Md. (WBFF) - Animal adoptions from Anne Arundel County's Animal Control will resume Thursday after being suspended due to a dog attack involving a child.
A five-year-old boy is recovering after suffering serious facial injuries after an attack by a dog that his family had adopted earlier in the day. Anne Arundel County Police report that officers responded to a home on Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. near Ritchie Highway where the attack occurred last Wednesday around 8 p.m. Police learned that the child was attacked by a dog that was adopted the same day from Anne Arundel County Animal Control shelter.
The boy was playing with the dog when family members heard the dog make a noise. The family members looked behind a couch and found the dog biting the child's face and head. The boy was taken to a local hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Animal Control responded to the home and took the animal into custody and later euthanized it Wednesday night. Animal Control staff had established all necessary safety protocols with the dog before it was adopted. Police didn't specify the breed of dog.
In response to the incident, new adoption procedures have been implemented. Animals will be evaluated while at the Animal Control shelter and a 'owner surrender' policy has been established. This gives staff and volunteer members a minimum of three days to interact with dogs brought to the shelter. The dogs will all be sprayed and neutered prior to being placed in their adoptive homes. Family members will be given literature about how to interact with their new dogs during a two-week 'cool down' period.
Police Chief Timothy Altomare says, "I can't imagine the anguish this family is going through, during the holiday season. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. And we will do everything within our power to prevent a reoccurrence of this tragic incident."
During the three days that adoptions were suspended, no dogs were euthanized as a result.