A 2-month-old baby in San Diego who was mauled by a pit bull this week has had her first surgery and is expected to fully recovery, her family said.
Jemma-Linda Gonzalez was with her mother in the family's backyard Monday when a family friend's pit bull suddenly lunged at the baby and grabbed her head, her eldest sister Raquel Eugene told Oxygen.com.
The pit bull's owner grabbed his dog and forced his hand into the dog's mouth to free the baby, but the child sustained serious head and facial injuries, including a fractured skull, broken nose, torn tear duct, and puncture wounds.
Her mother, Xochitl Gonzalez, told Fox 5 in San Diego her child was making an incredible recovery.
"She’s opening her eyes," she said.
"Her MRI came out clear. There are no other internal injuries that we’re aware of at this time. The plastic surgeons, and the neural surgeon and all the doctors have been the top ones available, and they have done an amazing job on her.”
She said that despite her baby having a brain pucture, the child "shouldn’t have to suffer any type of mental or physical disabilities right now at this time from what we know." The baby is expected to undergo plastic surgery.
The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the baby's medical bills.
The family friend who owned the 18-month-old pit bull immediately released his dog to police and it was euthanized.
"I don’t think anyone can understand the amount of pain that man is suffering," Eugene told Oxygen.com. She shot down rumors from social media about the dog not being chained up, or being provoked by the baby's mother trying to take a photo with it.
Pit bulls and other so-called "bully breeds" are a hot-button issue in some cities and states that regulate their ownership with breed-specific legislation. Some municipalities have even have banned them. San Diego has no such laws on the books and California has a law against breed-specific legislation, though there are some exceptions throughout the state.
Groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, American Bar Association and even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have criticized such laws, saying they don't enhance public safety and that the focus should be on the owners rather than the animals.
[photo: Courtesy Raquel Eugene]