DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - The dog that bit a 10- year-old girl on the face in Desert Hot Springs Wednesday morning has been euthanized.
Ollie was surrendered to animal services Friday morning by his owner after sitting in quarantine at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms since the attack.
The girl who was bitten was waiting for her school bus to arrive with her mother. "I saw a little girl get attacked by a pretty big dog and she was bleeding all over her face," said Michael Kuh, who was also waiting for the bus.
The girl was waiting for the bus with her mother around 8 a.m. at the corner of 7th Street and West Drive, officials said. Animal Services believe the girl was familiar with Ollie and was even petting it when it bit her. The girl was bitten once, possibly twice by the 2-year-old husky mix.
The girl's mother took her to Desert Regional Medical Center immediately after the incident for "serious" injuries to her face. "They're down low, at head level with the dog and they usually get it in the face," said Animal Services deputy director Frank Corvino. "And that's where some of the worst injuries happen." An Animal Services officer responded to the call and found Ollie back in the yard where he resides.
The officer took the dog to the county animal shelter where it was quarantined.
People who live in the neighborhood say it's not uncommon to see dogs on the street, many times without a leash or owner in sight. "It's just really sad to know that it's not safe to walk around," said Buffy Leavens, who lives in the neighborhood.
Lisa Coggins looked after Ollie, his nine puppies and the mother. All were abandoned a year ago by one of her neighbors. She says despite several warnings, the children in the area continue to tease the dogs. "The little girl, they try to jump the fence, they try to move rocks so the dogs get out of the fence, and I don't think it's fair," said Coggins.
Fair or not, officials want all pet owners to know, the injuries to this little girl could have been prevented. "Be a good animal owner and keep that animal contained whether it's a dog or a cat, so they don't get out and things like this happen," said Corvino.
Ollie was ordered to stay in quarantine for ten days at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Coggins was pleading for him to come home. "I don't think Ollie deserves to be put down, you know," said Coggins. "He deserves somebody to love him."
On Thursday, Coggins was cited for failure to license, failure to vaccinate and for having a stray dog at large. Animal Service officers said a dog must always be controlled, on a leash by the owner, or confined to its own property.
A hearing to determine Ollie's fate was going to be held because Coggins didn't initially turn him over to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
But on Friday, Coggins surrendered Ollie for humane euthanasia.
Officials with animal services said Ollie was euthanized by a veterinarian services team member and was subsequently tested for rabies virus infection.