PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) — An East Bay firefighter mauled by a pit bull over the weekend is still in the hospital and is facing a lengthy recovery.
The dog bit Alameda County Fire Department battalion chief John Whiting in the face as he responded to a house fire in San Leandro yesterday.
Whiting is being treated at Stanford Medical Center.
KPIX 5 was told Sunday that Whiting is awake, but he’s medicated. A team of surgeons was convened to go over his options.
He suffered extensive facial injuries and has undergone at least one operation, but he likely faces several more.
The battalion chief was responding to a fire at a house in unincorporated San Leandro when the dog, which was being held by a 15-year-old girl, lunged at Whiting and bit him on his left check.
Whiting asked if the dog was secure before approaching, but the girl was unable to hold the dog back.
The firefighter initially went to Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, but was then transferred to Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, home to some of the best reconstructive surgeons in the country.
Back in 2011, a small army of doctors at the hospitals made international news after separating a pair of conjoined twins.
As for the pit bull, it has been placed in quarantine.
There were about 20 dogs living at the house, and so Alameda County sheriff’s office is investigating possible criminal neglect.
Fire department officials said that the family doesn’t need anything for now. There is no word yet on any kind of GoFundMe account that’s been set up for Whiting.