Tuesday, July 11, a Ferndale family’s 9-year-old boy was petting his recently adopted pet dog when, reportedly without warning, the boy was bitten by the dog according to Ferndale Police Lieutenant Bill Hatchett. The boy received puncture wounds around his face and was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center for treatment.
The dog was picked up by animal control officers and quarantined at the Whatcom Humane Society.
The family had adopted a dog on July 9th from the Whatcom Humane Society. Hatchett described the dog as a 7-year-old pitbull mix.
Whatcom Humane Society (WHS) Executive Director Laura Clark said in an email the dog’s previous owner had stated the dog had nipped at small child who grabbed his tail. According to Clark, “due to the dog’s breed and the fact that he had exhibited behavior issues in his prior home,” 2 animal care staff at WHS conducted a behavior evaluation which the dog passed. Clark said, “while in our care, staff and volunteers noted he was a friendly, social dog” but noted in the assessment, “he was anxious and should not be placed in a home where he would be left along for long periods of time.”
WHS also conducted a physical examination which reveal the dog “most likely suffered arthritis in his hips and back legs.” It was recommended the dog be given supplements or medication to help with the pain of this condition.
Clark said, “It is standard policy that all dogs and cats at the Whatcom Humane Society are given a physical examination and temperament/behavior assessment prior to being made available for adoption. The results of both the physical examination and temperament evaluation are included in the animals information write-up that is located on their kennel for the public to review.”
The dog is currently held at WHS in bite quarantine. “Due to the severity of the bite and the dog’s history, he will be humanely euthanized at the end of the quarantine period,” according to Clark.
Hatchett said there are no charges pending. Clark said the WHS has offered assistance to the family.