MARTINEZ — A dog that bit and injured an 8-year-old girl Monday and created tension in its neighborhood because of two other biting incidents was euthanized by animal control workers in Contra Costa County on Thursday, officials said.

The 15-month-old pit bull named Spot was turned over voluntarily to animal control officials by the dog’s owner on Tuesday, according to Steve Burdo, a spokesman for Contra Costa County Animal Services.

The 8-year-old was bitten Monday and had bite wounds. She is recovering and did not need hospitalization, officials said.

The dog also had been involved in two other incidents on Saxon Street last year, Burdo said.

“After so many bites, the owner surrendered (the dog) and understands,” Burdo said. “Any reasonable person after these many incidents would say that it’s a dangerous animal.”

According to Burdo, the dog first came to the county’s attention after it bit a neighbor in November. Burdo said animal control workers have only so much power to take away a person’s pet, and that they followed protocol in the weeks leading up to Monday’s biting.

“Contrary to public opinion, our department does not have the right to go in and take somebody’s animal,” he said. “We have county ordinances that set forward the laws and rights for animal owners.”

Burdo said that animal control sought to designate the dog as a dangerous animal following the first bite, meaning the dog would’ve been forced to stay on its property at all times except for muzzled-and-leashed trips to a veterinarian. The county did not succeed in getting that designation, he said.


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