UNION CITY (BCN) – A 4-year-old Union City boy was saved from the jaws of three pit bulls thanks to the quick-acting moves of his father in a neighbor’s backyard on Wednesday, according to police.

The boy had been playing with a ball in his backyard on Shirley Court at about 4 p.m. when he hit the ball over the fence and went after it, police said.

He climbed up onto a small shed, slipped over the fence into his neighbor’s yard, and was then attacked by three pit bulls, police said.
KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The boy’s father heard his son screaming and jumped over the fence toward the noise. He fought off the pit bulls using his fists and a piece of wood.

Responding medics treated the pair for bites, bruises and lacerations. The boy and father were taken to the hospital for treatment and are expected to survive.

The three dogs were taken to the Tri-City Animal Shelter and held for a 10-day quarantine while investigators find out if the trio had their rabies shots.

The owner of the dogs cooperated with police and said none of the dogs had ever been in a biting incident.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Union City police at (510) 471-1365.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (26)
  1. wth says:

    maybe the dad should teach his child not to go into other people’s yards. i suppose the dogs will get euthanized for protecting their property even though the boy was trespassing. ridiculous.

    1. johnsmith says:

      the dogs are kinda cute to have but there is really no need for such predatory dogs in today’s society.

      1. eric luna says:

        sorry to let you know, but all dogs are predatory animals. and by the way you word it, it sounds like these dogs preyed on this 4yr old opposed to them defending and guarding their territory.

        get a clue “john smith”

      2. Jill Callahan Stahl says:

        Wow. People blaming four year olds !! Unconscionable!!! – look up the word! –

        If you have kids you let them play in their own backyard for crimmie’s sake!!! And of course, four year olds are curious about the world – but I guess most folks here would have them be afraid and soooo CAREFUL..and only stay within a certain amount of square footage behind walled barriers. Pathetic.

        I AGREE WITH JOHNSMITH. Pitbulls are a breed meant to convey sheer hostility and terror. It’s in the pitbulll’s blood. That’s their purpose.

        These dogs are a menace! No neighbor with young kids in the neighbor should have them! Please reconsider!!

  2. Jack Davids says:

    The boy should have made better decissions then to go into pitbull terrortory. they are terrortorial dogs ..Or got the faher to get the ball seeing that he was able to fight them off or just had more Balls

  3. Deb Iannarelli says:

    Why did the father have his 4 year old son go into the yard?????? The dogs were protecting the property. I hear the bad rap coming right now. Put the dogs down, they will say. Vicious they will say. Damn Pit Bull breed they will say. Lawsuit they will say. Get educated people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The father shirked his responsibility the minute he sent his 4 year old to get the ball in someone elses backyard. Shame on you daddy. The blame is on you and you alone! The dogs were doing their job, the child was doing what should have been dads job!

  4. Again and Again says:

    Shoot the dam dogs…enough said!

    1. JR says:

      shoot urself animal hater

  5. kc says:

    The father didn’t “let his son go into the yard” .. the father was in the house – 4 yr. old alone in the yard.. and it seems that that fence should be higher if a 4 yr. old could get over it.
    The only one to blame here is the father for not property supervising his son.

  6. Stupid Negligent Parents says:

    If they’ve lived there for any time they should know there are dogs next door. Forget the fact that they’re pit bulls, what do you think any other dog will do if a stranger TRESPASS into their yard?

    Feel bad for the boy, but completely his fault. Dogs shouldn’t be punished. Not like the father didn’t do any damage with his “fist and stick”.

  7. eric says:

    poor kid. it is sad when a kid gets attacked by ANY kind of dog. its unfortunate for anyone to get attacked by a dog. but it is completely the father’s fault for not paying attention to his kid! i am glad that the owners of the dogs are paying the fines for late registrations and shots and getting their dogs back.

    the dogs and the dogs’ owner should not be held accountable at all. they were locked in their backyard, not running loose. hopefully the kid gets better 110% and the parents get a wake up call. i think if they had been real guard dogs like rottweilers, mastiffs, dobermans or german shepards, that kid would be a whole lot worse.

  8. Al says:

    I agree with the last guy. I am an animal and dog lover. I believe pit bulls in general should be banned because of who they end up being owned by. But, in this case it’s absolutely not the dogs fault. Any dog is going to protect his territory. Jeez, 3 chihuahuas would have even attacked him if he intruded. This time pit bulls win the case!

  9. Willow says:

    for any breed of dog, when there are more than one, “pack mentality” becomes the dominate behavior. the dogs reinforce each others prey-drive and any intruder will be subdued.

    and although i am not a fan of pit bulls and consider them an unstable breed, these dogs were only performing their pack behavior as genetically defined.

    the property owner and dogs will most likely be held accountable for not having a fence that ‘ensured’ the child could not enter (which is almost impossible), no matter how unfair this is–the child and his parents should be hold most the responsibility for their injuries but most likely the law will not see it that way.

    same liability if the child drowned in the neighbor’s pool after breaking into the property. not fair but the facts. hope the dogs have a good lawyer!

  10. sam says:

    Then the difference between an attack from a pack of pit bulls and a pack of poodles is the velocity and magnitude: how fast the pack attacks and the amount of damage that is done in the attack.

    Pit Bulls are wired to be efficient in attacks — their jaws are constructed to lock so they don’t rely on muscle to hold their bit. And with their large mouth and muscular necks, they can quickly tear through flesh and bone for a quick kill.

    Poodles have considerably less jaw strength so a good hit on the head can dislodge the muscular contraction and the area of a bit is significantly smaller.

    Why pit bulls have become such a popular breed is a strange phenomena because the breed is notorious for its ‘attack rage’ behavior. Once they start to attack, they cannot be recalled–almost as if they’ve become detached from everything around them and only focus on their prey.

    Accept for rare exceptions, you don’t see the breed being used in any service work such a police or search/rescue for this very reason. Whereas with a German Shepherd Dog or others in the herding breeds, they are easily trained to be called-off in the middle of the attack and to just ‘hold’ the intruder. Plus most aren’t in ‘rage mode’ and are quite connected with their surroundings.

    I grew up with a standard poodle that would go into rage-mode. he was a great dog to be around until he wasn’t. he’d go mad for a while when in a fight with another dog or a kid he didn’t like. had he been human, he would have been medicated (or imprisoned) for his ‘rage syndrome’. So when working with pit bulls I clearly see a behavioral trait that would be great for surviving in the wild but is a HUGE liability in its domesticated life.

    On the whole, the herding breeds seem to have evolved without the attack rage trait. Although they have the capacity to neutralize the intruder, their wiring makes them responsive to their surroundings.

  11. Garrett Chyyna says:

    I believe that people have given PitBulls a bad rep!!! I myself have had Pitbulls and own one now. I have never seen any dangerous behavior from any of mine. PLEASE STOP BLAMING THE DOGS!!!!!! Those dogs who seem uncontrolable are that way ONLY because of the PEOPLE who raise them to be that way. For all of you Pitbull HATERS : you hate them because you know nothing about them. Remember that all dogs no matter what breed, can smell fear. Knowledge is POWER.

  12. jamie says:

    Seems to me if those Pitbull’s were so vicious they would have killed that boy before the father had any time to react… Why do people have dog’s??? To defend them and their property and to be good companions.. Those Pit’s did what any other dog breed would have done… If the situation involved a Lab or Shepard, I doubt the outcome would have been any different… ALL DOGS ARE CAPABLE OF BITING, NO MATTER WHAT THE BREED!!!!! So get off the Pitbull killing bandwagon everybody…

  13. jim halvorson says:

    My daughter had her lip torn off when she was 8 years old by a regular ol’ mutt at a friend’s house where she was visiting in the afternoon. What happened? The parents were not in the house when it happened, just their daughter. The parents didn’t even call an ambulance, they put my daughter in the car and drove her 10 miles to the nearest ER — HELLO dog owners — I’m one of you, my dog is always on a leash outside: inside if kids are around, we put her in the back and lock a bolt on the top of the slider. Why? dogs are unpredictable –

  14. resposibleparent99 says:

    Who taught the kid it wa ok to scale over a neighbors fence wether it was to get something of his or not? I always went to the door and knock and ask permission to get something! The father shouldn’t have let him go in the first place. Personally I say it’s the fathers fault for not watching his kid. Where is the parenting and responsibility of boundries and
    personal property here people! Legally the dog
    owner should probably be minmally resposible for
    half of the hospitable bills. I don’t like it, but that’s how it usually goes for CA, the idiots have all the rights. Do something stupid and get paid for it.

  15. Hurricane says:

    The freakin dogs were protecting their territory! I feel REALLY sad for the little guy, but his parents should have been out there with him, knowing that there are dogs next door AND, the little guy should have been told to NEVER go in ANYBODY’S backyard! very irresponsible parents!

  16. alli says:

    This was an unfortunate incident and I hope all parties resolve this responsibly. The dogs were secured in their yard and reacted to an intruder. It would not have mattered if they were pit bulls, chihuahuas or poodles. A dog will protect it’s owner/territory. Shoot, I would be defensive if someone showed up unexpectedly in my backyard. Most backyard fences are 6 feet high and a determined 4 year old can find means to climb over the fence. I agree with resposibleparent99. All parents, dog and human, need to be responsible for teaching proper behavior. Now a child is injured and probably fearful of dogs, the homeowner/pet owner is possibly liable for expenses and three dogs’ lives are in jeopardy.

  17. Concerned says:

    Seeing as how a week or so before this incident, the child jumped into the other neighbors yard to play with their dogs and was brought to the parents and told this is not acceptable for your child to jump into my yard. Also seeing that the child a 4 year old and has been seen wandering on the main cross street by themselves it makes me wonder, where are the parents???

  18. Sensible says:

    If the owner had shot the boy (protecting his property) he would go to jail and stand trial.
    Dogs are more a warning system in today’s “society”, not a booby trap.
    I have had Shepards and Rottwiellers and they were socialized.
    These dogs were not pets, they were weapons.
    I don’t know about the Union City dog odinances but, most cities won’t allow three dogs at one residence.
    The pit supporters have never been attacked or keep Pit Bulls in case they are.

  19. JR says:

    Pitbulls are dogs just like any other dog… they guard their territory and their pack.. Whether they were pitbulls or chihuahuas.. the real point should be that the father should never have let the (4 year old?) child have that kind of access to potential danger like that.. what if it wasnt dogs but a swimming pool or whatever.. this type of thing could have been prevented if the parents of the kid child proofed the kids play area… The media can really twist up the headlines.. Father is Hero?? Let the child the child decide that when he grows up with those scars…

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