Family dog attacks 4-year-old Lacey boy, severely injures his face

LACEY, Wash. -- A 4-year-old boy viciously attacked by his family dog is in stable condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office said.

At about 11:16 a.m. Wednesday, deputies received a call of a 4-year-old boy being severely bitten by a 1 1/2-year-old dog.

When deputies and medical staff arrived at the home, they found the boy with severe bite wounds to his face.

Joint Animal Services Officer Kenneth Maynard was called to seize the dog. He said it became a tense situation.

"I wasn’t sure what he was going to do," Maynard said late Wednesday. "He had that look like he was going to attack me, and you’re going into a situation where the dog just attacked a kid."

The boy was initially rushed to St. Peter Hospital by medics and then airlifted by Life Flight to Harborview. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The boy's 26-year-old mother was also bitten on the hand when she attempted to get the dog off her child. It is not known if she received medical attention.

The dog will be in quarantine for the next 10 days, where it will be monitored for rabies or any other contagious illness. After the holding period, it is expected to be euthanized.

Authorities said the family got the dog on  The dog's previous owner told Q13 FOX News the dog never showed aggression toward people, though it did to other dogs at times.

The Thurston County Sheriff`s Office is investigating that claim and whether the previous owner could face charges.

Experts said a dog's temperament is hard to determine in one meeting, so getting to know the dog's behavior prior to taking it home is key, especially when there are children in the house.

Editor's note: The Thurston County Sheriff's Office originally identified the dog as a pit bull, but later officials corrected the dog's breed to American bulldog. Animal Services later corrected that correction and said the dog is, in fact, an American pit bull.