California

Mom shields 3-year-old son with her body as three dogs attack, California cops say

Screengrab from KGO video

Dorris Hutcherson calls the attack by three dogs Friday night on her next-door neighbor and a 3-year-old boy “the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” KGO reported.

Hearing a commotion about 5:30 p.m., Hutcherson looked over her back fence in Vallejo, California, to find the dogs — described as pit bulls at 40 to 50 pounds each — mauling her neighbor, who was “fighting for her life,” KRON reported.

“I saw those dogs eating at her and the baby,” Hutcherson said, KPIX reported.

“They were trying to pull the baby away from her,” she added, KGO reported. “And it seemed like she was trying to protect her baby with her body.”

Hutcheron’s husband, Steve, banged on a trash can with a golf club to try to distract the dogs while she called 911, according to the station.

Officers with the Vallejo Police Department used pepper spray and physical force to drive the dogs away from the 47-year-old woman and her child, Bay City News Service reported.

Both are hospitalized in stable condition with bites to their heads and arms, the East Bay Times reported.

“They’re in my dreams, screaming and hollering, it’s just traumatic,” said Dorris Hutcherson, KPIX reported.

The dogs have been quarantined for 10 days by Solano County Animal Control to check for signs of rabies, the East Bay Times reported.

The owner of the dogs, who had recently moved into the home with the woman and child, was still being sought Saturday and can either turn the dogs over to the county or comply with rules for keeping animals designated as dangerous, according to the publication.

Vallejo police are continuing an investigation into the mauling, KPIX reported.

About 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. Here are tips for being safe around man’s best friend.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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