A pit bull's fatal mauling of a 14-month-old boy in his South Los Angeles home prompted city animal control officials Monday to issue broad warnings about what they described as a major public health and safety threat to the city.
(Gini) Barrett said a survey last summer by the agency indicated that as many as 44,000 abandoned or runaway dogs roam Los Angeles streets. Many of them are considered vicious, and the largest number--as high as 40%--are believed to be pit bulls, she said. About 20% are Rottweilers and chows, which also are considered dangerous. "Having a pit bull in the home is like having a loaded gun. Would you leave a child alone with a loaded gun?" asked Jackie David, spokesperson for the Department of Animal Services.
Payaso, one of two pit bulls owned by Fily (Araujo)'s family, was seized by animal control officers and will be put to death. The second dog was removed from the house by a relative. Both dogs, about a year old, had grown up with Fily, said Silvestre Araujo, the boy's grandfather.