Tonawanda Baby in Hospital After Being Attacked By Dog

A three month old baby was attacked in his own home on Gath Terrace in the City of Tonawanda during Sunday afternoon. Police say one of the family's dogs, an American Staffordshire Terrier, attacked the baby after the mother briefly left the child in a room that was gated off. The mother brought a baby monitor to the bathroom with her but soon after she heard "noise" coming from the monitor. She went back into the room and found her baby injured on the ground. Police say the dog managed to get through or over the gate and bite the baby in the stomach and chest. The other dog living in the home, a pit bull, wasn't involved in the attack.

Captain Robert Hassett has been with the City of Tonawanda Fire Department for 18 years. He lives just around the corner from where the baby lives. Captain Hassett had his scanner on and heard the 911 call so he rushed over to help. "Time is of the essence, luckily I was just around the corner," Hassett said. "I got there and took a deep breath and then we went to work. With the injuries... you had to put sterile dressing but you also have to put water on it... also have to make sure the baby doesn't get hypothermia."

Quick action by responders likely saved the child's life. "It really was a team effort starting with dispatch... {Twin City Ambulance} did a tremendous job, everybody worked together," Hassett said. "We train all the time for this... and we have a doctor coming in... with us several times a year that trains us specifically. Hopefully everything works out for the kid... I don't live that far away and I'd like to see the baby."

The baby boy was taken to Women and Children's Hospital for emergency surgery. His family says he was "resting comfortably" Monday evening.

Both dogs were taken to the Erie County SPCA and it's still not decided whether they will be put down. No criminal charges are expected against the parents, but detectives are investigating. It's believed the attack may have happened because the dog was acting out on a territorial instinct.

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Comment by BillySFCVFD on December 2, 2008 at 4:29pm
Helpless small children should never be left unattended where an animal, domesticated or not, can get at them, never. TCSS

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