A 5-year-old boy was bitten on his face and an arm in Thermal today by a dog that was surrendered for euthanasia, authorities said.
The attack happened around 4 p.m. at a ranch-style property that consists of several houses within a fenced lot, according to John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
The boy, who lives at the property, was playing with other children and converted a discarded weed snapper box into a costume, attracting the curiosity of Pickett, a 2-year-old German shepherd-Shar Pei mix, Welsh said.
When the boy took off the costume, he was attacked by the dog, who inflicted at least two bites, Welsh said.
The animal was normally tethered on the property, the dog's owner told Animal Control Officer Gerald Duchene.
The owner surrendered the dog for euthanasia, according to Welsh, who said the man did not know how Pickett got loose.
The dog was not current with its rabies vaccinations and its remains will be taken to a local lab for testing, Welsh said.
State law prohibits keeping dogs tethered for long periods of time, but a trolley system can be legally used to keep dogs secured, he said.
Duchene said he believed the boy's relatives took him to a hospital for treatment, but his condition was not immediately available.