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Five dogs attack family walking in Fontana

February 2, 2010 |  2:41 pm

A pack of five escaped dogs attacked a mother and her four young children in Fontana, mauling three of the siblings and leaving the youngest in critical condition.

The mother had been walking with four of her six children along a path near Arrow Boulevard and Citrus Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, when the pack comprised of a mastiff, a pit bull terrier and three other large dogs escaped from a back yard by digging a hole under the fence, said Sgt. Jeff Decker of the Fontana Police Department.

One of the dogs pulled the youngest, a 5-year-old girl, out of her mother’s grasp and shook her violently. The child, listed in critical condition at a hospital, suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung, serious bites and possible internal injuries. She also needed a ventilator to breathe.

“The mother believed one of her children was so badly mauled that she might be dead,” Decker said.

The girl's older brother, who is 6 or 7 year old, was hospitalized for serious bite wounds on his leg. Another girl, whose age was unknown, was also treated for injuries to her arms and legs.  The eldest, an 8-year-old boy, was the only child unharmed.

Some teenagers tried to get the dogs off the family by throwing rocks, Decker said. Police contacted the owners, who expressed concern at what had happened and said the dogs had not been trained for any type of sport or activity, Decker said.

Police chased down the dogs and shot the pit bull terrier. The others were impounded at the San Bernardino County Animal Shelter.

-- Amina Khan