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Pico Rivera Mom Stabs and Kills Pet Pit Bull After Unprovoked Attack On One-Year-Old Daughter

10:40 AM PDT on April 25, 2022


A real horror show hit a Pico Rivera family last night, resulting in the mauling of an infant, multiple injuries among the intervening adults, and the stabbing death of one of the family pets.

KABC reports the horrific scene that went down around 10:15 p.m. on Sunday night at a home near Pico Vista Road and Homebrook street. That's when Margaret Ann Morales was roused out of bed by the screams of family members. Walking into the kitchen, she witnessed her two daughters and sons struggling on the floor to get the family's two dogs off of her one-year-old granddaughter, Ruby.

One of the dogs had its jaws latched onto the infant's leg. Morales says she stuck her hands into the dogs mouth to pry its jaws apart, releasing its grip on her granddaughter. At one point during the terrifying struggle, the baby's mom, Jamie, reportedly stabbed one of the dogs with a knife, instantly killing the canine.

"It was either him or my daughter and I chose my daughter," Jaime Morales told a reporter. "I did what I had to do because he wouldn’t let go. I feel really bad but I had to. I’m pretty sure anyone would have done it."

The dogs, 3-year-old, blue-nose pit bulls that have been raised by Margaret since they were puppies, are said to have attacked the girl and her mother when the infant started crying, realizing the worst fears of every parent who owns a dog.

In total, four people were taken to hospitals, with Ruby brought to the trauma center at LAC + USC Medical Center with serious injuries to her legs, ankles, and shoulder. The infant underwent one surgery and is expected to need a second surgery for a hip fracture. Her mother suffered wounds to the face and arm, while a sister and Margaret were also both injured.

While one dog was killed, the other is expected to be euthanized today. The family claims the dogs have never shown signs of aggression before but are typically kept outside. The attack only lasted minutes, but resulted in a tragedy that's certain to rattle the family for a long time.

Pico Rivera's Mayor, Monica Sanchez, released a statement addressing her community of 62 thousand residents below:

“Like many others this morning I was horrified and dismayed at the news of the unprovoked attack on a one year child by a family’s pit bulls. This is a very unfortunate incident and I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and best wishes for a swift recovery for the child and injured members of the family. I’ve also asked our city manager to immediately offer any assistance we can to the family including the availability of crisis counselors.”

While fatal dog bites are said to be between 30 to 50 annually, damaging dog attacks on people and children are sadly far from uncommon.  The CDC reports that some 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, with numerous stories of attacks on children archived in the website, which only paints an partial picture of these terrible incidents.

According to that site, California and Texas reported the most fatalities due to dog bites between 2005-2017, which could simply be due to the fact that these two states also boast the largest populations in the country. In 2013, Los Angeles was named the dog bite capital of the country for postal carriers, though the record was attributed primarily to our warm weather more than a rash of poorly trained canines.

In general, it can be difficult to assess or predict the risk of any particular dog having the potential to attack a person, though extreme caution about everything is generally the best policy when it comes to having little people around.

A think-tank known as The National Canine Research Council offers some statistics that debunk numerous myths a lot of us have about dog attacks, including the identification of breeds behind specific attacks.

Fortunately for the Margaret Morales, her family members in this case are all expected to survive, despite the still-heartbreaking loss of her dogs.

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