DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. — A dog bit a 10-year-old girl at a school bus stop here on Wednesday morning.
The girl was with her mother as they waited for a bus to arrive at their stop.
The dog, an intact husky mix that is about 2 years old, bit the girl in the face at least once, possibly twice. The mother immediately took her daughter to a medical center for treatment.
Riverside County Animal Services Officer James Huffman responded and retrieved the husky from a yard where the dog had presumably returned. The dog was to be impounded and quarantined at an animal campus in the area.
Authorities said that the victim may have been familiar with the dog, since she lives in the area. Initial reports indicate that the girl was petting the dog while she waited at the bus stop, and then the dog turned and bit her for some unknown reason.
Huffman said that he was also familiar with the dog. Sometime last summer, a couple had abandoned the dog at a nearby home, Huffman said. A neighbor took over care of the dog after it was left behind.
"Even if this little girl was familiar with the dog, pet owners must realize that they should not allow their dog to roam freely," Riverside County Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. "If this dog is within its own yard, this little girl doesn't get bit at the bus stop. Period."
Miller said dog owners must take better responsibility in helping Riverside County Animal Services keep neighborhoods safe.
"We feel horrible that an innocent child gets bit while waiting for her school bus," Miller said. "And this attack was totally preventable."
The incident is still pending actions by Riverside County Animal Services. The agency said that it would provide an update when citations are officially issued against the dog owner.