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Family Dog Mauls Toddler, 2, In Riverside

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

RIVERSIDE  (AP) — Authorities say a pet dog attacked a 2-year-old girl in Riverside, injuring her face and head, but she is expected to survive.

Riverside County Animal Services Capt. Tammie Belmonte said Thursday the attack occurred when the family dog, a 3-year-old American bulldog mix, started looking at the toddler oddly, and then attacked her, pinning her against a television Wednesday night.

An aunt pulled the dog off the girl. The dog, originally thought to be a pit bull mix, then bit the aunt.

The attack was apparently unprovoked, but Belmonte notes that another family dog, a 5-year-old female Australian shepherd, was believed in heat.

She says the bulldog’s behavior could have been more unpredictable due to the female’s fertility signals.

The parents agreed to euthanize both dogs.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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