Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Toddler injured by dog is airlifted

A toddler was airlifted to a Miami hospital Monday morning after being attacked by a 90-pound mixed breed dog at a Key Haven home, according to a county animal control official.

Two-year-old Tristan Jones was in stable condition Monday afternoon in Miami Children's Hospital, said Mark Gongre, lead animal control officer for the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The boy received a large cut on the back of his head, lacerations on his face and puncture wounds on his shoulder, Gongre said.

The toddler was with his grandmother at her home at 24 Bamboo Terrace when he was attacked by the 5-year-old dog, Duke, around 11:30 a.m., Gongre said. He said the animal apparently is a mix of pit bull terrier and boxer.

The grandmother, Lynn Jones, had just returned from a shopping trip with her grandson and was greeted at the door by Duke and another boxer, which was not unusual, Gongre said.

"It's my understanding the grandmother went to place some things on the kitchen counter and the child returned to the foyer where the dog was, out of sight," he said. "She was a few feet away, heard the initial attack, went over and initially couldn't get the dog off, but then started screaming at the dog by name and the dog then ceased the attack."

The grandmother didn't see what happened prior to the attack, so investigators are not sure what prompted it, Gongre said, noting that the dog had shown no aggressive behavior in the past.

"This is a dog that the child had been around often," Gongre said.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Trauma Star helicopter airlifted the boy to Miami Children's at 12:24 p.m.

No one answered the door at house Monday afternoon. Property records indicate the owners are Robert and Lynn Jones.

The dog was taken to the FKSPCA facility on College Road, where it will be quarantined for 10 days. After that quarantine, the owners must decide whether they want the dog back, Gongre said. There was no indication that the dog was sick, and it showed no aggressive behavior to workers at the FKSPCA facility, Gongre said.

He said he does not expect charges in connection with the attack, he said.

Deputies closed U.S. 1 near the intersection of Key Haven Road for about 20 minutes to allow the medical helicopter to land on the highway, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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