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His Dad Had Fallen Asleep. When He Woke Up, Half Of His Son's Face Was Missing

FEBRUARY 23, 2017  —  By Hannah Austin

After taking a prescribed pain pill and falling asleep, a father in Brooklyn, New York, woke up to find his five-year-old son savagely mauled by a pit bull. He was alive, but tragically, the left half of his face was gone.

You've probably heard the saying before, "There are no such things as bad dogs, just bad owners." Well, this family was definitely full of poor dog owners. They kept two pit bulls locked in cages around the clock, only taking them out for the occasional walk. Family members said the dogs were known to be aggressive, which likely stemmed from their lack of attention and exercise.

How the dogs got out of the cage is unknown, but when this father awoke, five-year-old Jeremiah Rivera had already been attacked. Reportedly, the brave little boy threw himself between the dogs and his two younger siblings, perhaps saving their lives.

Both the dogs and the children have been removed from the home by authorities. Doctors are now tackling the challenge of reshaping Jeremiah's face.

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Read More: Pit Bull And Adorable Baby Are Best Friends Because The Stereotype Isn't True

According to dog trainer and author Brian Kilcommons, supervision is key when it comes to kids and dogs, regardless of breed. He said, "Leaving a dog alone with a child is like leaving two toddlers in the same room, one with a pair of scissors." Even the world's best dog can become agitated by a child and lash out. That said, if your dog is showing signs of aggression, there are some things you can do:

  • Enroll your dog in a behavior modification program.
  • Make a trip to the vet -- a medical issue may be causing your dog to act out.
  • Identify the type of aggression -- some examples include territory, food, and owner protection.
  • Provide consistency and routine.
  • Provide daily stimulation, exercise, and socialization.

To learn more about keeping kids safe around dogs, click here. And don't forget to share this important information with the parents you know. Perhaps it will save others from suffering the same fate as Jeremiah.

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