GREEN BAY - Two pit bulls were euthanized after they mauled a toddler and his mother Monday afternoon.
Police and neighbors say the mother was pushing her 15-month-old son in a stroller along the 1100 block of Reber Street at about 12:30 p.m. when the dogs attacked them. Authorities believe the attack was unprovoked, and a neighbor said the dogs had not attacked before.
The mother and toddler are being treated for what are believed to be serious but not life-threatening injuries at St. Vincent Hospital, according to Capt. Jeremy Muraski of the Green Bay Police Department, who was at the scene several hours after the incident. The victims were visiting friends who live in the neighborhood.
The dogs' owner, Tina Jones, was not home at the time the dogs got loose.
Neighbor James Williams was watching TV with his family when they heard screams and saw the dogs attacking the mother and child.
"I bolted out the door," Williams, still visibly shaken, said later. "One of the dogs had the baby's face and head in its mouth. I hit the side of the dog in an effort to get it to stop to breathe and get off the baby. The other had the mother's head."
Williams said he and his stepson, 33-year-old B.J. Archuleta — who walked out of the house with a baseball bat — fought the dogs off. Williams was able to pin one dog on his porch. Police found the other pacing the owner's front yard when they arrived.
Such attacks are rare in Green Bay, and Muraski said officers will continue to investigate.
"We're trying to figure out how they got out in the first place," he said. Authorities have not said whether Jones will be charged.
Williams said neighbors did not have issues with Jones and would greet her when outside. Jones did not let the dogs out unattended, he said, although one got loose a few times, he said.
Jones said she left the house at about 11:30 a.m. Monday to shop and visit with a friend. Neighbors called her to tell her about the attack.
Jones said the dogs were contained in crates in her basement, which is behind two locked doors, when she left. There are "beware of dog" signs posted in several locations outside the house, which she has lived in for about four years.