SARASOTA (WWSB) - Over the weekend, a child who turned 3 years old today, was mauled by the family’s pit bull.
Kevin Smith Jr.'s (KJ) grandmother said her pit ripped off 75 percent of his scalp and he’ll need several more surgeries to recover.
Though he won’t be awake, KJ’s family traveled to All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete to have a Spongebob party for him Monday night, on his 3rd birthday, as he gets a second surgery on his scalp.
“He loves the outdoors, he always loves the outdoors and it just hurts, right now, it’s a lot of pain,” said KJ’s grandmother, Lottie Miller.
The young boy was at his happiest when he was playing outside with his family’s dogs. His grandma said he particularly loved her two pit bulls.
“They all grew up together," Miller said. "As he got older, they got older. He rode their back, he played with their tail. He went in the cage, he fed them.”
Miller said the dogs were family, and KJ was the epitome of a dog’s best friend.
“They never, in a million years, I never would have thought that these dogs, our dogs would have harmed my grandbaby,” Miller cried.
But on Saturday, when KJ walked up to his grandma’s 3-year-old male pit bull, the dog attacked.
“It hurts everybody because everybody loved the dogs, everybody loves KJ, so it just, like, hurt everybody," Miller explained. "It’s not easy at all.”
In a fit of aggression his owners said they’ve never seen before, the pit bull ripped off 75 percent of KJ’s scalp.
“To bite a known member of the family is very, very unusual,” said Dr. Alan Glassman, a retired veterinarian of 35 years.
Though this breed often has a bad reputation, Dr. Glassman said it’s highly uncommon for a pit bull to act in this way.
“Pit bulls, by no means, are outrageously aggressive compared to other types of dogs," said Dr. Glassman. "Unfortunately, they are powerful and if they bite severely, you can have bad injuries.”
Without knowing the exact situation, Dr. Glassman suspects something was wrong with the dog, like maybe he wasn’t feeling well.
“Maybe it is very protective of it’s own environment, certainly animals have food aggression," explained Dr. Glassman. "You come near a dog who’s food aggressive, you’ll get bit if they’re eating. Some dogs are possessive of where they’re laying.”
It varies, so Dr. Glassman’s best suggestion is to educate yourself on your dog’s habits.
Manatee County Animal Control has confirmed that it has possession of both the pit bulls. Only the male is believed to have attacked KJ, but the female pit was outside too.
Miller said she’s decided to put both of the dogs down because of this incident.
KJ will need several more surgeries, so the family has started a GoFundMe account to help pay for the expenses. To donate, click here.