Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1234262

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Child injured in dog attack

Family wants animal to be declared vicious
By David Hotle | Sep 02, 2014
Sophia Rios

Raul and Shannon Rios want to know why the dog that allegedly attacked their 2-year-old daughter Sophia hasn’t been declared vicious by the Washington Police Department or taken into quarantine.   
Shannon Rios said that the family was at a wedding reception at the National Guard Armory on Saturday, Aug. 23. She said that a National Guard soldier was at the reception and that the solder had brought her dog to the event. She said that Sophia was petting the dog when the dog suddenly turned and attacked her. Shannon Rios said that a few other kids had been feeding the dog peanut butter.
“The dog lunged at my daughter,” Shannon Rios said. “It growled and lunged at her and knocked her to the ground. I was right beside of her. I was on one side and the owner was on the other. After the attack, the owner grabbed the dog and I grabbed my daughter. I went one way and she went the other.”
Shannon Rios said her daughter was “severely injured.” Sophia was taken by Washington County Ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Rios said that the dog had punctured Sophia’s eye and the top of her head during the attack.The mother also said that when the dog had Sophia on the ground, it had shaken her. She also suffered scratches on the side of her face.
“It was not a bite to get her away — it was an attack,” Raul Rios said.
Shannon Rios believes if she hadn’t been standing right there and the dog owner hadn’t been right there, Sophia could have been killed in the attack.
Sophia had to undergo plastic surgery as a result of the attack, Shannon Rios said. She said that Sophia will have scars as a result of the attack.
Shannon Rios said that she and Raul had spoken with the police. She said that they had to call the police to give a statement. Raul Rios said that they had later found out that the dog had not been quarantined and it left Washington with the owner. The owner lives in Des Moines.
According to the Washington County Communications Center police log, officers had advised that the child was not attacked, but was bitten while playing with the dog. It also said information was given to the parents.
Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman declined comment on the incident today, saying that it is still under investigation.
“It is an open case and I can’t say anything,” he said.
Goodman confirmed that the dog was not taken to the Washington pound for observation.
The Rioses said prior to media reports, they had thought the dog had been taken to the pound for observation and would be put down.  Shannon Rios said that she had spoken with the police and, she said, had been told that the dog had not been declared a vicious dog.
Col. Gregory Hapgood, Iowa National Guard public affairs officer, said the National Guard is doing an inquiry into the situation and he said that it is currently not entirely clear what had happened. He said the investigation is continuing and the National Guard will contact the Rioses to further determine what had happened. Hapgood said that pets are allowed at the center during public events if they are leashed and well behaved, but not by soldiers on duty status.
Shannon Rios said that she wants the dog to be declared vicious. She said that she is worried it may attack another child.
Recently two dogs were declared vicious after attacks in the City of Washington – one charged several people and the other had attacked another dog — and both were put down.
“This was a vicious dog and a vicious attack,” Shannon Rios said. “There are no other words for it.”

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