General Crime

* Pit bull puppies attacked 6-year-old girl at a University of California at Berkeley

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A 6-year-old girl who was attacked by two pit bulls at a University of California at Berkeley housing complex in Albany last week has been released from the hospital, a UC Berkeley police captain said. Last Thursday, the girl and her younger brother were playing at a community garden at the University Village, located on West End Way in Albany, when they walked through an adjacent soccer field to use the bathrooms just before 8 p.m., UC Berkeley police Capt. Steve Roderick said.

As the young children crossed the soccer field, two off-leash pit bulls approached them, and both bit the little girl, Roderick said. People at the soccer field helped separate the dogs from the girl, and she was taken to Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. She was treated there for bite wounds to her body and a severe scalp injury, which required several staples.

She was released Saturday and is now recovering at home, Roderick said. The younger brother was not bitten, he said. Her parents were at home at the university housing complex, across from the fields, at the time of the attack, Roderick said. The man walking the dogs, who are less than a year old, told police he was a friend of the woman who owns them. He cooperated with police and gave them his information along with the owner’s, which allowed police to contact the two on Friday, Roderick said.

Over the weekend, the owner decided to surrender the dogs to the Contra Costa County Animal Services Department, where they will be under observation and quarantine through at least the end of this week, Roderick said. The owner lives in Contra Costa County. Animal services will make a decision on the fate of the 50-pound pit bull puppies after the observation period, Roderick said.

The dogs, both males who have not been neutered, have no history with animal services and are not known for being vicious, Roderick said. University rules require dogs to be on leashes unless they trained to obey verbal commands, Roderick said. Other than violating that rule, he said, it does not appear there was criminal intent in the attack and no charges have been filed against the owner or her friend.

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