22-month-old attacked by dog in Melrose

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office officials in early stages of investigation

MELROSE – A 22-month-old boy was in surgery Monday night at UF Health in Gainesville after he was attacked by a pit bull earlier in the day.

According to Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Gator DeLoach, an investigation is underway into the events surrounding the dog attack.

Sheriff’s office officials are not releasing the name of the child. 

At 7 p.m. Monday, DeLoach said the child was still in surgery.

“We just got off the phone with investigators at the hospital,” DeLoach said. “He seems to be doing better, and they’re expecting a full recovery.”

The attack happened at 405 Melrose Landing Blvd., according to releases from the sheriff’s office. The child sustained injuries to the arm and face, according to the releases.

DeLoach said after the child was mauled, the child’s mother and the homeowner drove the child to a nearby Dollar General, where an ambulance met the party and took the child to the Gainesville hospital. En route to the hospital, DeLoach said, the child went into respiratory arrest but was revived.

DeLoach said Putnam County Animal Control has seized seven dogs from the property. A news release from the sheriff’s office said the animals were being held in an undisclosed location outside of the county.

“We’re working in conjunction with Animal Control and (Putnam County) Codes Enforcement,” DeLoach said. “We’ve also notified the health department and the Florida Department of Health.”

DeLoach said the state Department of Children and Families has also been notified.

“There were actually several dogs on the property,” DeLoach said. “I can’t tell you, with certainty, which dog is responsible for the attack.

“(Animal Control) will make the determination whether to euthanize or quarantine).”

The sheriff’s office news release said law enforcement officials have not previously been to the location for animal-related issues.

The sheriff’s office’s Major Crimes Unit is handling the investigation. DeLoach said no charges have been filed as of 7 p.m. Monday.

“The investigation is obviously in its infancy,” DeLoach said. “(Sheriff’s office personnel) will be out there the better part of the evening.”

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-5200


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