HONOLULU (KHON2) — An eight-year-old boy is still recovering at the hospital, three days after being attacked by a dog at a friend’s house. The boy’s family is still trying to get answers as to why it happened.
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Zayden Salvador is still recovering from surgery with severe cuts from head to toe. His mother says he has several stitches on his scalp, a broken bone above his left eye, and a broken leg.
“He’s still in pain but he’s doing his best to recover,” said his mother Rema Caraang.
Caraang says on Saturday, Zayden was playing with a friend who’s family owns the dog when the dog suddenly attacked.
“In their house,” she said.
“Were they playing with the dog?” KHON2 asked.
“No, he just came out,” she said.
“It got out?” KHON2 asked.
Yes,” she said.
EMS says a 44-year-old woman who owns the dog was also seriously injured, as she tried to stop the dog from attacking Zayden. His mother says she was shocked when she saw her son right after it happened.
“Laid down and then all open, open on this side, everything,” said Caraang.
“Bleeding?” KHON2 asked.
“Yes, bleeding and then the ambulance came,” she said.
HPD is investigating the case. The Hawaiian Humane Society was called in to help.
“Our humane investigators were asked to come on site to assist, and they basically issued what’s called an impound citation. They’re asked to keep the dog on property and secured at all times,” said Brandy Shimabukuro, manager of communications at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
When it comes to dogs and kids, the Hawaiian Humane Society says it’s always best to have an adult around, no matter how friendly the dogs are.
“Because the reality is, is that a dog isn’t gonna be able to interpret that a child that’s playing and being really joyful, they might just interpret that as just loud noises and a threat,” said Shimabukuro.
While this particular case is still under investigation, Shimabukuro says there are often signs that a dog may become aggressive. Some obvious signs are growling and a tucked in tail. But there are also more subtle signs.
“That could be yawning, which is a sign of stress. It could be lip licking, really tense stiff body posture, what we call whale eyes, really wide eyes, raised hackles. A dog that’s gonna show aggression is a dog that’s going to increase its size,” said Shimabukuro.
When a dog is being aggressive, she says it’s best not to use any quick movements, back away as calmly as possible, and avoid any eye contact with the dog.