Dog killed after mauling child |

Dog killed after mauling child

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

POLLOCK PINES — It took two shotgun blasts to take down a 100-pound male pit bull that mauled an 11-year-old boy. Now the owners are facing felony charges.

Brian Keates spent three days in Marshall Hospital in Placerville with serious injuries inflicted by his neighbor’s dog, said Gary Lacy, district attorney for El Dorado County.

Lacy filed one felony count each against Jillian Figueroa, a veterinary technician, and her roommate, John Rogers, for failing to control a mischievous animal.

Figueroa and Rogers will be arraigned May 21 in El Dorado County Superior Court. The two could face up to three years in state prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted.

On April 20 around 8:30 p.m., Brian went to see Figueroa about treating his dog. Figueroa wasn’t home and neither was Rogers, when the boy knocked on the door.

The pit bull, “Rufus,” came from the back of the house and growled. Brian ran and Rufus gave chase until the dog brought the boy down and kept him there until Brian’s mother arrived. She kicked and beat the animal off her son, Lacy said.

As Brian was carried by his mother to their house, Rufus continued to attack the boy, Lacy said.

Rufus was still hostile when deputies from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the scene. One blast from a shotgun wasn’t enough to stop the animal. A second shot killed it.

El Dorado County Animal Control received seven complaints about Rufus from March 14 to April 8. Most of the complaints pertained to Rufus roaming the area of Rose Court in Pollock Pines, reported Margaret Williams, spokeswoman for the Public Health Department.

Other complaints centered around Rufus’ chasing behavior. There were no reports of the pit bull biting anybody.

Williams said two incidents of people taking a defensive stance against a dog over a three-year span could label the dog as potentially dangerous. The decision could lead to the dog being impounded.

If a dog bites an individual severely, the dog could be deemed vicious and be impounded or killed.

In 2001, El Dorado County labeled one dog vicious. Since January of 2002, four dogs have been labeled potentially dangerous in the county, Williams said.

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