A family dog that made headlines for being held by animal services under suspicion it was part pit bull has allegedly mauled a 13-year-old boy four days after it was released.
Muhammad Almutaz Alzghool, 13, said he was taken to hospital with cuts to his face and required more than 20 stitches after he was allegedly attacked by the dog following taekwondo practice in Toronto last Friday.
The dog, Dwaeji, that allegedly attacked Muhammad had been seized by Vaughan Animal Services (VAS) in October after it ran away from its family home.
The dog’s owner, Tommy Chang, said last month he was expecting to get the puppy back, but was surprised when VAS told him it would be held until they determined whether the dog was part pit bull.
The dog was returned to its family more than two weeks later, after VAS said it was determined it could be lawfully released.
Four days later, Muhammad said he was at Black Belt World, a Toronto taekwondo studio that is owned by Chang.
Muhammad said that Dwaeji was at the studio Friday during his training, but was on a leash.
Muhammad — who has always had a fear of dogs — said when taekwondo class ended, his instructor told him to that he needed to get over his fear of dogs and brought Dwaeji closer to him.
“That’s when he jumped on my face and bit it,” Muhammad told CTV News Toronto.
Muhammad was taken to Sick Kid’s Hospital by ambulance, where he received more than 20 stitches.
Whats going with boy
His father, Muath Alzghool, said his son will likely have to undergo plastic surgery and has been warned by doctors that some of the scarring will be permanent.
In response to Muhammad’s claims, the lawyer representing Chang said in a statement issued Wednesday morning that the “overall circumstances of how and why” the attack occurred are “categorically false.”
“In media interviews and releases, the assertion has been that he [Muhammad] is and has always been afraid of dogs and it has been made to appear that his only encounter with Dwaeji was at the time that he was bitten and under pressure from an instructor,” lawyer Leo Kinahan said in a news release, adding that video of the attack exists, though it has not been released to the public.
“However, after review of the video, the young man engages Dwaeji on several occasions prior to being bitten and appears to show no fear or trepidation of the animal and frankly, on more than one occasion, his actions could be described as somewhat antagonistic towards the animal.”
Toronto police confirmed to CTV News Toronto they are investigating an animal bite that occurred on Nov. 5.
Vaughan Animal Services also said they received a report about the incident.
The dog has not been seized by authorities.
“He’s so emotional about this,” Alzghool said. “Every time he sees the mirror he just starts crying. These scars are forever.”