A Pico Rivera woman stabbed two pit bulls, killing one of them, as they were attacking her 1-year-old daughter in their home Sunday night.
The attack occurred when one of the dogs who lived at the home on the 9600 block of Homebrook Street ran into the kitchen around 10:30 p.m.
The 3-year-old dog jumped on top of the toddler and was attacking her, the child’s grandmother Margaret Morales said.
The second pit bull ran in seconds later and attacked the girl as her mother and grandmother struggled to get her free.
“He had her by the leg and I had to get his teeth off of her,” Margaret Morales said. “He bit my hand and my hand’s pretty severely cut open.”
Unable to get her daughter free, Jamie Morales picked up a knife and began stabbing the dogs.
“I had to stab the dog … I had to,” Jamie Morales said. “It was either him or my daughter and I chose my daughter.”
One of the dogs died after being stabbed, said Jaime Morales, whose face was also mauled in the incident.
The girl, identified by her family as Ruby Cervantes, was taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center with multiple bites to her face and body.
She was undergoing surgery and is expected to survive.
The girl’s aunt was also injured in the incident.
The family says the dogs have never been aggressive prior to Sunday’s incident.
The second dog involved in the attack will be put down, according to officials.
Pico Rivera Mayor Monica Sanchez offered assistance to the family, including the availability of crisis counselors.
“Like many others this morning I was horrified and dismayed at the news of the unprovoked attack on a one year child by a family’s pit bulls … I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and best wishes for a swift recovery for the child and injured members of the family,” Sanchez wrote in a statement.