FRENCH VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — A dog originally believed to have mauled a toddler in Riverside County was returned to its owners Wednesday after authorities determined it was not responsible for the attack.
The toddler's family told CBS2/KCAL9's Andrea Fujii they're convinced that was the dog that attacked Kaidyn Sutton on Friday at Primrose Park in French Valley.
"I'm very upset about it. I feel that there has been no justice done," the boy's father said.
Kaidyn, who turns two next month, suffered gashes to his forehead and severed nerves.
As his mother attempted to rescue the boy, the dog attacked again, this time tearing his cheek.
Animal Services took a 6-year-old Lab-mix named Dexter into custody on Saturday after the boy's godmother identified him as the dog responsible for the attack.
After further investigation, officials determined Dexter was not responsible and has been released. They described the dog's behavior as mild-mannered and Animal Services Director Robert Miller applauded his owner for their cooperation.
"Anytime your dog is being taken away, it's very stressful," he said. "Dexter's owners, however, completely understood our role and handled this incident with grace."
The Sutton family has hired attorney Amy Vahdat, who said she's spoken with a neighbor who claims they were bitten by Dexter.
Kaidyn's relatives said they're dog-lovers themselves. They just want the right dog caught and fear that dog is now loose again.
"The opportunity for the dog to strike again is now an actual possibility – it's absolutely terrifying," the boy's grandfather Glenn Garrett said.
Authorities continue to look for the correct dog, which was described as a large animal with black and tan markings similar to a Rottweiler.
"We still need the public's help," Miller said. "A large dog caused severe injuries to this little boy and someone might have valuable information to share. It's important that we receive that information as soon as possible. We do not want anyone else to be injured if this dog is still in that community."
Anyone with information was asked to call (951)358-7387 or send a tip to email@example.com.
Doctors say Kaidyn may suffer permanent nerve damage to his face. To help Kaidyn with his medical expenses email the family's attorney at SUPPORT4KAIDYN@SFVLAW.COM.
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