Feb 14, 2013 8:05 PM by Erika Flores

Dog attacks two children in midtown

TUCSON - Not one, but two kids walking to school Thursday morning were attacked by loose dogs.

One of those attacks happened near a ten-year-old's home.

She was on her way to the bus stop when it happened catching her off guard.

She didn't know what was coming until the dog had already taken hold.

Zenaida Castillo was visibly shaken after the attack holding back tears as she told officers what happened.

"She came out of the house with her backpack...she walked down and the dogs were on the other side here playing," said Zenaida's mother Martha Valenzuela.

Valenzuela explained what happened next.

"The dog jumped on her right here and clawed her hair. Zenaida pushed him off and then the dog jumped on her again and went to bite her face, that's when Zenaida put her arm in front of her face," said Valenzuela.

The dog then bit her arm.

Officers took pictures of that wound as evidence, but that's not the end of her wounds from this attack.

"The dog attacked her back--clawing this part," said Valenzuela.

As officers collected Zenaida's statement, they learned of another victim.

A 17-year-old boy was attacked just minutes before by the same dog on the 4900 block of N. First Avenue.

"He said the dog grabbed a hold of him pretty hard," said Valenzuela.

The dog was handed over by its caretaker and locked up for quarantine in the Pima Animal Care Center.

"For this week, this would be the first one as far as a person getting bit," said Jose Chavez with Pima Animal Care Center.

On average Chavez said there are about 2,500 dog attacks a year in Pima County where people get bit.

He tells me just over a handful of enforcement officers are out all day responding to call after call involving strays, welfares and attacks.

It's a traumatic experience for anyone especially a ten-year-old girl, but Zenaida's mother said she's just happy the wound wasn't life threatening.

"They cleaned her up and she's no longer in pain," said Valenzuela.

Zenaida's family said they have never had any run-ins with dogs in the neighborhood before, and the man who was taking care of that dog had always been a good neighbor.

Zenaida's family decided not to press charges against him, but we're told the 17-year-old's family is.


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