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Boy attacked by dog before Hillsborough County meeting about dog training

Commissioners voted to increase oversight
Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 02:29:29-05

A young boy was attacked by a dog on Wednesday morning in Tampa.

It happened at the Hillsborough County government building right before a meeting about regulating dog trainers.

Ironically, the dog involved in the attack was being handled by one of the local dog trainers there to contest a proposal to increase regulations for dog training.

"He spun around, grabbed the child by the head and shook him like he was going to kill him," witness Marie Kelley tells ABC Action News about the large dog's sudden actions.

 "The child did nothing. He was standing there with his mom holding his moms leg and the next thing you know the dog latched on to his head quick as anything," says Kelley.

Commissioner Al Higgenbotham referenced the attack while introducing a proposal to require more oversight of dog training in Hillsborough County.

The new rules, which the Commission approved by a 5-2 vote, requires dog trainers be certified and background checked, and that they agree to dog-training techniques before the training begins.

Dubbed "truth in training," the rules aim to prevent injuries to dogs under the care of animal trainers, as has happened in the past in Hillsborough County, albeit very rarely.

The boy injured in the attacked was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

The dog was surrendered by the owner to Pet Resources and was euthanized, a county spokesperson tells ABC Action News. The attack remains under investigation.