Owner of pit bull that mauled Antioch boy speaks out

August 16, 2013 6:12:46 PM PDT
The mother of a 10-year-old East Bay boy who was attacked by their neighbor's pit bull says her son refuses to talk about what happened. And she says he's having nightmares.

Ten-year-old Hunter Kilbourne was badly mauled this week while playing video games with a friend next door. The pit bull is being quarantined at Animal Services in Antioch.

This has been a tough situation for everyone involved. The family who owned the pit bull wants to send their heartfelt apologies to Hunter and his family. They say they just feel horrible about what happened.

Neighbors who were friends are now at odds with one another after the horrible attack left the fourth grader seriously injured and possibly permanently disfigured.

"No words can explain how you feel in a situation like this," pit bull owner Courtney De La Cruz said.

De La Cruz, the owner of the two and half year old pit bull named Jewels, did not want to show her face. She says the public ridicule and scorn from neighbors that's directed at her family has been too much to bear after Jewels was accused of mauling Hunter on Monday.

"I worry about my family's safety, people judging us because of the fact that we're pit bull owners," she said.

The dog's owners shared photos with ABC7 News, including a look at the stairs where Hunter was attacked. The 10-year-old had come over to visit with De La Cruz's son.

Hunter's mother Melody Ralls told us on Monday that Jewels jumped on her son. She doesn't know why the dog attacked or how it got into the house.

Jewels is one of two pit bulls that live in the home.

"The dog got him from here, going down here, and all the way across from his ear, the top of his ear off, basically, this part of his face is gone," Ralls said.

She shared photos with ABC7 News. Doctors at UC Davis reattached Hunter's right ear. He needed more than 100 stitches for injures to his arm. Additional surgeries were done for the injuries to Hunter's face, between the ear and eye.

While Hunter's mom says both dogs attacked her son, police say that it appears only one was involved. The owner's 9-year-old son was also bitten by Jewels during the attack when he jumped in to try and help his friend.

"I grew to love them, they brought so much joy to my family," De La Cruz said.

Both dogs were taken by Animal Control and will remain quarantined for at least a week. Jewels will be put down on Thursday. But if there is no evidence linking the second dog Duke to the attack, the family will petition to have him returned to the home

There will be a fundraiser at four Buffalo Wild Wings locations on August 21 to help Hunter's family pay the medical bills. Ten percent of the profits made that day will be donated. You need to print out a ticket and take it to the restaurant for the family to receive a donation.

For the Brentwood location, click here.
For the Stockton location, click here.
For the Modesto location, click here.
For the Tracy location, click here.

A family friend has set up a fund to help pay for his medical care.


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