Press: Pit Bull Attack

Roberto Duran visiting me in the Hospital. 1983
Roberto Duran visiting me in the Hospital. 1983

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

BOY, 11, SURVIVES SEVERE MAULING BY TWO DOGS

Sunday, July 24, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: LIZ BALMASEDA And PETER HAMM Herald Staff Writers

 

In his nightmare, the thin boy was pinned to the ground by two mad dogs that tore at his body. For an interminable half hour, the boy fought a furious tangle of claws and teeth.

In his dream, the boy killed the dogs.

But for eleven-year-old Jorge Cuartas, the nightmare was real. He awoke Saturday morning in the intensive care ward of American Hospital, having survived a vicious attack by two dogs, one a pit bull terrier, the other a young mutt. Unlike in the

dream, the larger of the two dogs, the pit bull, remained alive — and unleashed.

Metro-Dade Animal Control officials combed an area of West Dade all day Saturday, setting fresh-meat traps to catch the pit bull. Early in their search they found the months-old mutt in a makeshift den ten yards from where the boy was attacked. That dog was penned.

Jorge’s older brother Carlos, eyes red from crying, related what happened to his brother Friday afternoon in a deserted West Dade construction site, where Jorge and his best friend had gone “exploring” on their bikes.

The two dogs lunged at Jorge as he pedaled through winding tar paths at the site, SW 148th Avenue and 48th Street, next to the Lakes of the Meadow development where he lives. His friend, who had taken another path, was at a distance.

The pit bull ripped Jorge’s left leg, knocked him off his bicycle and dragged his 70-pound body about the dirt.

“He remembers the dogs just going for his neck,” said Carlos, 14.

The friend hurried to tell Jorge’s mother. Luz Cuartas’ rushed to the construction site and saw the dogs dragging her son on the ground.

“Don’t get out of the car,” the boy screamed to his mother.

But when she did, the dogs ran.

She rushed her son to the emergency room of American Hospital, where his general condition was listed as stable late Saturday. His left leg was severely injured.

The son of a Colombian businessman, Jorge is a video wiz who “has never broken a bone in his body,” an adventuresome youth who loves to ride his bike around lakes and empty lots. “He likes to call it ‘exploring,’ ” said the older brother.

The dog that bit Jorge “seems to have been domesticated at some time, and somebody apparently dumped her out there,” said Metro-Dade Animal Control Officer Patty Flack, who helped pursue the runaway dog. “I don’t think she has rabies.”

During the chase, officers spotted the dog in tall grass near the site.

“She’s been chased most of the day,” said Vaughn Garbarek, director of Metro’s Animal Services. “Hopefully, she’ll be tired and hungry. We have some nice meat in a trap, and if she crawls in there we won’t have to kill her.”

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

SEARCH STILL GOES ON FOR DOG THAT BIT BOY

Monday, July 25, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 3B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: HERALD STAFF

 

Dade County Animal Services officers will continue their search today for a pit bull terrier that badly mauled an 11- year-old boy, who remained hospitalized in stable condition Sunday with bites over most of his body.

The attack on Jorge Cuartas was “one of the worst we’ve seen in quite awhile,” said Dr. Carlos Garcia-Rivera, a cardiovascular surgeon at American Hospital. “His leg looks like he was run over by a truck.”

The surgeon said the boy was bitten more than 100 times.

Cuartas and a friend were riding bicycles Friday afternoon at a construction site at SW 49th Street and 147th Avenue when Cuartas was attacked.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

BOY MAULED BY DOGS MAY LOSE HIS LEFT LEG

Tuesday, July 26, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1D

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: JOAN FLEISCHMAN Herald Staff Writer

 

An 11-year-old Miami boy may lose his left leg from the mauling he suffered last week by two pit bull dogs, the second of which was finally captured late Monday night in a West Dade residential development.

Bitten more than 100 times from the neck down, Jorge Cuartas remained in stable condition at American Hospital.

“His left foot is in severe jeopardy,” said Dr. Frank Ferrero, a cardiovascular surgeon. “He lost a large amount of tissues, muscles, tendons. Statistically speaking, he’s probably out of danger as far as his life is concerned. Our major problem now is trying to save his foot….I don’t think we’ll succeed.”

Luz Cuartas, the boy’s mother, said her son is terrified of amputation. “He says, ‘I want to keep my foot. If I don’t have a foot, I’ll look terrible,’ ” Cuartas said.

“He says, ‘Mommy please talk to me, but not about the accident. Please take my hand, don’t go away.’ He’s scared.”

Monday, a team of county Animal Services officers, Metro- Dade police and civilian volunteers criss-crossed a 30- square- block area near SW 147th Avenue and 48th Street, where the wild terrier and its puppy pulled the boy from his bicycle on Friday afternoon.

But it wasn’t until around 11:30 p.m. when Florida Highway Patrol Trooper E.F. Hotling found the pit bull in a baited trap in the Lakes of the Meadows development at SW152nd Avenue and 56th Street.

The dog was taken to the Animal Control center in Medley. Metro-Dade Animal Services director Vaughan Garbarek said the pit bull will be quarantined for 10 days and tested for rabies. Then, he said, it will be killed.

Jorge is receiving antibiotics intravenously to prevent infection, a potentially life-threatening complication. He also is receiving pressurized oxygen treatments to “help keep the foot alive,” Ferrero said. The foot, he said, already is showing signs of gangrene from poor circulation.

Ferrero said a decision will be made by midweek on whether amputation is necessary.

Animal Services officers captured the 15-pound puppy Saturday evening. It does not appear to be rabid, but will be quarantined for 10 days, Garbarek said. Then it probably will be destroyed.

Despite two sightings Saturday by Animal Services officers, and two unconfirmed sightings Sunday by volunteers, the adult white pit bull believed responsible for the boy’s most serious wounds remained at large most of Monday.

The area, near Arvida’s residential Lakes of the Meadow development, is difficult to search. Mounds of rocks from nearby quarries give the dog plenty of places to crawl in and hide. There also are several densely wooded spots where the animal could avoid detection.

Four cagelike traps baited with fresh meat were left for the dog Monday.

The hot weather had not helped the search, either. Dogs often remain in the shade during daylight, and emerge at night to hunt for food, Garbarek said.

Metro police pilot Sgt. Tom Enstrom and an Animal Services officer searched for an hour-and-a-half Monday morning from the county’s Bell Jet Ranger helicopter. At times, they hovered as low as 10 feet from the ground. “We didn’t see anything,” Enstrom said.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

TEAM OF STATE TROOPERS CATCHES DOG THAT MAULED BOY

Wednesday, July 27, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1D

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: JOAN FLEISCHMAN Herald Staff Writer

 

The chase was tense: A state trooper, alone on patrol, spotted the suspect sought by authorities on foot and by air for three days since the young victim was found torn and bloody.

Two more troopers, worried about their colleague’s safety, raced to the scene — a vast and desolate West Dade construction site, filled with hiding places. Prepared to shoot if necessary, they tracked their quarry by the light of the near-full moon.

Ninety minutes later, they cornered the suspect: a mixed- breed bitch, part hound, part pit bull terrier, wanted for a vicious assault on an 11-year-old Miami boy.

“Looking for the dog was like looking for a human suspect,” Florida Highway Patrolman Ed Hotaling said Tuesday. “You had to be very careful. We didn’t know what the dog was going to do.”

Hotaling was working off-duty at 11 p.m. Monday, patrolling a sprawling Arvida development called Lakes of the Meadow, when he spotted the mongrel that attacked Jorge Cuartas there last Friday. The youngster, who was bit more than 100 bites from his neck down, had his left foot amputated Tuesday night, doctors say.

Hotaling, unable to reach a county Animal Services officer who also was on the 600-acre complex, radioed his dispatcher that he had found the dog and was in pursuit.

Troopers Jim Lenahan and Dave Johnson, who had just finished their shift and were on their way home, heard Hotaling’s call and raced to the scene. “They were concerned … in case the dog was bad,” he said.

The three men followed the animal in their patrol cars. The nearer they got, the louder it growled. When they tried to close in, it took off running.

“We’d see him and he’d disappear into the dark,” Hotaling said.

The troopers then got out of their cars, looking for pawprints in the sandy soil. But no sooner would they sight the dog than she would dart into one of the dozens of homes under construction.

“There was stuff lying everywhere,” Hotaling said. “We had to be very careful what we were doing. You never know if the dog is lying under some boards.”

Catching sight of the animal, the troopers herded it north toward a huge mound of rocks — the scene of the attack — where they knew a cagelike trap baited with fresh dog food had been set.

Finally, at 12:30 a.m., they cornered the animal by the rock pile. “The three of us surrounded the dog,” Hotaling said. “We pinned her against the mound. It had nowhere else to go unless it came after us. We finally herded her into the cage.”

The dog, he said, barked furiously. “She was aggressive but never did anything threatening to us,” Hotaling said.

The troopers turned the dog over to Animal Control. It will be observed for 10 days to ensure that it is not rabid, then destroyed.

A second dog that attacked the boy, believed to be its puppy and no more than a few months old, was captured Saturday night. It does not appear to have rabies, Garbarek said.

“If a dog were carrying rabies, the outside limit of its survival is 10 days,” Garbarek said. “It would die during the observation period.”

Investigators intitially believed that the dogs that mauled the Cuartas boy were pit bull terriers. From a distance, the animals had their “block head characteristics,” but at close range it was obvious they were a mixed breed — largely hound, Garbarek said.

After receiving reports that there may be another wild pup on the loose, Animal Services officers decided to leave the traps at the construction site.

Investigators believe the wild dogs are packs of strays either deposited there by owners who no longer want them, or else puppies of previously abandoned animals.

There have been 2,243 animal bites reported so far this year — slightly fewer than at the same time last year — but they are not categorized according to species, Dade County health official Walter Livingstone said. He estimates that 95 per cent of the bites are from dogs.

There have been no cases of rabies reported in recent years as a result of bites from domestic animals, Livingstone added.

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THE MIAMI HERALD

SURGEONS AMPUTATE FOOT OF 11-YEAR-OLD BOY BITTEN BY PAIR OF FEROCIOUS DOGS

Wednesday, July 27, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1D

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: STEVE STERNBERG Herald Medical Writer

 

In an effort to stem infection, surgeons late Tuesday amputated the left foot of an 11-year-old Dade boy mauled last week by a pair of ferocious dogs.

Dr. Frank Drewniany, an orthopedic surgeon at American Hospital, said Jorge Cuartas’ leg was amputated at mid-calf to stem a “threat to the child’s life.”

“The infection apparently had spread into his calf,” he said. “He had fever he hadn’t had before. The sensation he had last night had gone

before the surgery>. His foot looked dusky and blue.”

The physician said it was the worst dog bite he had ever seen.

The young boy will need further surgery to remove tissue starved from lack of blood circulation. He also will require surgery to improve the appearance of the leg.

Late Tuesday, the groggy child was in the recovery room, aware of his predicament. Doctors had informed him earlier of what was about to occur. “He was in good spirits, he understood the situation,” Drewniany said.

“We never really had high hopes for the foot, but in a kid 11 years old … you have to give him every chance of recovery,” Drewniany said. The foot had been virtually severed by the dog, the doctor said. “It was fated. Nothing could really be done about that.”

Cuartas will remain in the hospital from 10 days to four weeks, Drewniany said.

“He will need more surgery. Both legs were badly disfigured. He has multiple puncture wounds on both legs — some of those wounds we haven’t been able to close.”

Asked to characterize the boy’s wounds, the orthopedic surgeon said: “I can’t put that into words. It’s not good what happened to him.”

Drs. Drewniany and Carlos Garcia-Rivera, a cardiovascular surgeon, began the operation at 9 p.m. and finished two hours later.

The boy was bitten more than 100 times all over his body, and many of the wounds, contaminated with filth, have festered

from infections.

But it was the damage to the youngster’s left leg that astonished even his doctors.

“If you had seen the injuries you probably wouldn’t have believed they had been done by a dog,” said Dr. Frank Ferrero, a cardiovascular surgeon. “It is a little hard to understand how a dog could have inflicted that much damage on anyone.”

The boy was brought into the American Hospital emergency room with his foot attached only by a few tendons, surviving bits of tissue and one artery.

Worse, two of the arteries that supply the foot with oxygen- rich blood were frayed by bites ferocious enough to “crush the bone,” Ferrero said.

Even the hardiest body tissues can survive for only six hours without oxygen supplied by the blood.

“When you deprive the flow of blood to any tissue you have a few hours before the cells will starve to death,” Ferrero said.

“If only we could have re-established circulation the foot probably could have been salvaged,” he said.

As soon as the boy was admitted to the emergency room, doctors rushed him to the operating room, where they worked feverishly to clean his wounds, cut away damaged tissue and suture those clean enough to close.

Some of the boys’ wounds were left open to drain to avert further infection. But none of the child’s other limbs are in jeopardy, Ferrero said.

At first, doctors planned to flood the limb with a high concentration of oxygen by placing it inside in a pressure- sealed plastic cylinder called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. That method, which pumps oxygen directly to cells, bypassing poor circulation, could not be applied.

As for the child, Ferrero said, “This child really impressed me with being able to understand what is going on — incredibly so.”

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

DOG ATTACK STUNS MEADOWS’ RESIDENTS

Thursday, July 28, 1983

Section: NEIGHBORS SW                                    Page: 6

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: LAWRENCE JOSEPHS Herald Staff Writer

 

As an 11-year-old boy lay in a hospital bed, recovering from a vicious attack by two wild dogs at a West Kendall construction site, nearby residents this week wondered how such a thing could happen.

And some, who missed television and newspaper reports, complained they should have been informed that one dog was not caught until early Tuesday morning.

“I’m mad that somebody didn’t tell me,” said Jane Larch, who moved to Lakes of the Meadow subdivision two months ago.

The one-mile-square development at SW 148th Avenue and SW 48th Street lies adjacent to the area where the attack occurred.

“I think they should have given out some kind of warning,” Cindy Nathan said. “I mean, these neighborhoods are full of kids.” Nathan said fliers are regularly distributed by Arvida- Southern, the developer, on matters of interest to the community, but none were given out after the attack.

Arvida-Southern President Sandy Miot said Tuesday that fliers were not sent out immediatly because the incident occurred over the weekend.

Miot said he did not read about the incident himself until Sunday.

He added that “no trespassing” signs have been posted around the construction area, but are routinely torn down.

Jorge Cuartas, 11, and a friend went “exploring” Friday on bicycles in an area near SW 147th Avenue and 48th Street.

In a rocky area near two idle cranes, across the street from the Lakes of the Meadows pool and clubhouse, the two stumbled on what animal services officials say was the den of 45-pound mixed-breed dog — part pit bull, part hound — and its puppy. The dogs attacked, dragging Cuartas off his bicycle.

By the time the other boy returned with help, Cuartas had been bitten more than 100 times from the neck down.

Neighbors of the Cuartas family in the quiet, family- oriented community said the attack has made them think twice about letting their children play outside.

“After I read about it I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it could have been one of mine,’ ” said Neisy Avino, who has a boy, 6, and a girl, 3. “My kids play out here all the time. We don’t have a fence.”

“You want to believe that your kid can run around without any problems,” said Justo Carasa, whose 11-year-old son, Alex, said he saw the wild dogs a month ago. “We tell him, ‘Now you may not go as freely on your bike.’ ”

Vaughn Garbarek, director of Metro-Dade Animal Services, said wild dogs are common at construction sites “because if people want to get rid of a dog, it’s a good place to dump them.”

He said the 45-pound dog — captured at 3 a.m. Tuesday after a three-day search by helicopters, animal control workers, Metro police and Florida Highway Patrolmen — was probably a pet abandoned by its owner. The puppy was captured Friday.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

DOG THAT BIT LEG IS STILL LOOSE, BOY SAYS

Thursday, July 28, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1D

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: MICHAEL H. COTTMAN Herald Staff Writer

Illustration: photo: Alvaro Cuartas

 

Eleven-year-old Jorge Cuartas was resting quietly Wednesday inside a flower-filled hospital room just hours after surgeons amputated his mangled leg at mid-calf.

Then he read the morning newspaper.

“Daddy,” the boy shouted, “that’s not the dog that

bit> my leg. This is the smaller dog that bit my neck.”

The brown-haired youngster, mauled for about 30 minutes Friday by two vicious dogs, was bitten more than 100 times. In an interview Wednesday, his father said the boy assured him he would recognize the animal that cost him his left foot.

Until the dog is captured, the boy refuses to leave American Hospital, his father said.

“He is afraid,” Alvaro Cuartas, a Colombian-born businessman, said in Spanish. “This was a savage attack.

“There is another dog out there just waiting to maul someone else. They should trap him and kill him as soon as possible.”

Cuartas, 37, has spent sleepless nights stoically waiting for doctors, waiting for police, waiting for answers.

“My son gave us a description of the dog. He was not drugged. He had a clear head. He knows what he is talking about.”

Two dogs have been captured at the West Dade construction site where Jorge was attacked. One is a white-and-brown female puppy. The other is a mixed-breed female adult with a black patch on its face, the dog the boy says bit his neck.

“We probably don’t have the right dog,” said Kris Miller, an officer with the Metro-Dade Office of Animal Services.

Animal Services officers searched until sundown Wednesday for the dog that fits the description Jorge gave his father — white, with small brown spots.

“We’re doing all we can to catch this dog,” said Miller. “We’ve set three traps and we’re hoping to catch it, but it seems to be very smart. It walks around the traps.”

Officials at American Hospital said Wednesday that public response has been overwhelming. Telephone calls have tied up hospital lines for hours. Flowers and gifts come in the mail. And the people come.

Some want to give money. Some want to give blood. Others call just to say they care.

“The people are so nice to us,” Cuartas said. “I never believed that people in Miami could care so much.”

At the county’s Animal Services office, public response has been overwhelming too — about 100 calls a day since authorities announced the dogs’ capture. “My God,” said office director Vaughn Garbarek, “a lot of people have called wanting to adopt the animal.

“A lot of people have called to speculate that the boys provoked the attack,” Garbarek said. “We have no evidence of that … We do not adopt out to the public a dog that has bitten someone.”

American Hospital and the South Florida Blood Service will sponsor a Jorge Cuartas Blood Drive on Friday from 2 to 8 p.m. “The best thing people can do is to give blood,” the boy’s father said.

Jorge was in stable condition Wednesday. Doctors said he was resting and eating.

“Thank God he’s alive,” Cuartas said. “Thank God.”

Herald Medical Writer Steve Sternberg contributed to this report.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

TRIO SEARCHES AFTER HOURS FOR SUSPECTED ATTACK DOG

Friday, July 29, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 3D

 

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: MICHAEL H. COTTMAN Herald Staff Writer

Three off-duty animal control officers spent Thursday night combing a sandy area in rural West Dade hoping to capture a male dog that is suspected of attacking 11-year-old Jorge Cuartas.

Kris Miller, an officer with the Metro-Dade Office of Animal Services, volunteered her off day to stake out nearly 900 acres of land in an effort to snare the animal that cost Cuartas his left leg.

After the daylight searchers went home, Miller was joined by officers Rasco Martinez, who volunteered to work on his vacation, and Patti Flack, whose normal workday had ended.

Four traps were baited with fresh meat and dog food.

“We spotted the dog at night before, but we never see him in the daytime,” Miller said.

“There are a lot of places for him to hide, but we’re going to do our best to catch him even if it means working on our off time.”

Animal control officers have already captured two dogs: a white-and-brown female and another white female with a black patch on its face.

The boy said Wednesday the description of the dog that mangled his leg did not match the description of the dogs captured by officers. A third is being sought near SW 152nd Avenue and 47th Street.

“We’re going to sit in different positions until we find him,” Miller said. “But the dog is smart. He won’t step into the traps.”

Jorge suffered some 100 bites during the 30-minute attack last week. His left leg was amputated at mid-calf late Tuesday.

The boy was listed in stable condition Thursday at American Hospital. A blood drive in his name will be held today between 2-8 p.m. at the hospital.

Officials say the hospital has been flooded with telephone calls, gifts and flowers for the young boy. The animal services office has received its share of calls, too — many of them asking to adopt the dogs responsible for the attack.

“That’s not normal,” the victim’s brother, 14-year-old Carlos Cuartas, said Thursday. “If those people could come here and see what those dogs did to my brother, they wouldn’t want the dogs anymore.”

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

TRIO SEARCHES AFTER HOURS FOR SUSPECTED ATTACK DOG

Friday, July 29, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 3D

 

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: MICHAEL H. COTTMAN Herald Staff Writer

Three off-duty animal control officers spent Thursday night combing a sandy area in rural West Dade hoping to capture a male dog that is suspected of attacking 11-year-old Jorge Cuartas.

Kris Miller, an officer with the Metro-Dade Office of Animal Services, volunteered her off day to stake out nearly 900 acres of land in an effort to snare the animal that cost Cuartas his left leg.

After the daylight searchers went home, Miller was joined by officers Rasco Martinez, who volunteered to work on his vacation, and Patti Flack, whose normal workday had ended.

Four traps were baited with fresh meat and dog food.

“We spotted the dog at night before, but we never see him in the daytime,” Miller said.

“There are a lot of places for him to hide, but we’re going to do our best to catch him even if it means working on our off time.”

Animal control officers have already captured two dogs: a white-and-brown female and another white female with a black patch on its face.

The boy said Wednesday the description of the dog that mangled his leg did not match the description of the dogs captured by officers. A third is being sought near SW 152nd Avenue and 47th Street.

“We’re going to sit in different positions until we find him,” Miller said. “But the dog is smart. He won’t step into the traps.”

Jorge suffered some 100 bites during the 30-minute attack last week. His left leg was amputated at mid-calf late Tuesday.

The boy was listed in stable condition Thursday at American Hospital. A blood drive in his name will be held today between 2-8 p.m. at the hospital.

Officials say the hospital has been flooded with telephone calls, gifts and flowers for the young boy. The animal services office has received its share of calls, too — many of them asking to adopt the dogs responsible for the attack.

“That’s not normal,” the victim’s brother, 14-year-old Carlos Cuartas, said Thursday. “If those people could come here and see what those dogs did to my brother, they wouldn’t want the dogs anymore.”

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THE MIAMI HERALD

DOG SUSPECTED IN ATTACK ON BOY IS FOUND, KILLED

Saturday, July 30, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: PETER HAMM Herald Staff Writer

Illustration: photo: Roberto Duran with Jorge Cuartas

 

A Metro-Dade police officer Friday night shot and killed a male mixed pit bull terrier believed to be the sought-after dog that attacked and maimed an 11-year-old boy.

“It looks like the piece that finishes the jigsaw,” Metro- Dade police spokesman Bill Wallace said of the hunted animal. The dog was shot and killed by an officer from the Metro Southwest district station at about 9:30 p.m., Wallace said.

A spokesman for Dade County Animal Services said the animal, shot near SW 153rd Avenue and 72nd Street, was being taken to the department’s headquarters in Northwest Dade. The body will be photographed and checked for rabies, the employe said.

Family members of Jorge Cuartas, the 11-year-old who lost his left foot earlier this week because of the dog attack, could not be reached late Friday. Police were trying to locate them.

Metro Internal Affairs officers were headed to the shooting scene. They must investigate every incident in which an officer shoots an animal, Wallace said.

A female dog that probably attacked Cuartas was captured Tuesday morning by Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Two dogs had bitten the youth more than 100 times the preceding Friday at a Southwest Dade construction site.

Earlier Friday, the boy, a sports enthusiast now recovering at American Hospital, got an unexpected visit from one of his heroes, Roberto Duran, the World Boxing Association junior middleweight champion.

Duran told the young soccer player that he “shouldn’t give up, and should keep fighting.”

The youth remained in stable condition at the Southwest Dade hospital. A blood drive was held in his benefit Friday, with about 40 donors showing up, a hospital spokesman said.

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THE MIAMI HERALD

OFFICIALS UNCERTAIN IF DOG THEY SHOT ATTACKED YOUTH

Sunday, July 31, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 4B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: RICK HIRSCH Herald Staff Writer

 

Dade County Animal Services officials cautiously hoped Saturday that the mixed-breed hound shot and killed by Metro police was the dog that viciously attacked a West Dade boy about a week ago.

But after two failed attempts to positively identify the animal as the attacker of 11-year-old Jorge Cuartas, animal services director Vaughan Garbarek conceded that staffers aren’t sure they have the right dog.

“We aren’t 100 per cent sure … . We don’t have a 100 per cent identification,” Garbarek said. “We’re still trying to establish if it’s the right one.”

In the meantime, Garbarek said, meat-baited traps still are set in the West Dade area where Cuartas was attacked July 22. Animal services is “continuing the surveillance effort,” Garbarek said.

“You have to realize that the eyewitnesses to this incident were highly traumatized and highly emotional,” Garbarek said. “When you see someone being mauled by an animal, you can lose sight on particular details, such as a spot on the hindquarters … .

Police gunned down the dog Friday night after two West Dade men, German Obando and Armando Camacho, both 26, spotted it at a construction site at SW 66th Street and 157th Avenue and called police.

Two patrol officers were dispatched to the area, where they searched for the dog on foot, said Metro police spokesman Kenneth Christopher. Suddenly, the dog jumped from some bushes and ran toward the officers, who shot it, Christopher said.

The dead dog was female, between 40 and 45 pounds, white in color with a brown and black head, Garbarek said. Although it was a mixed breed, the dog “has absolutely no pit bull in it at all,” he said.

Saturday morning, the injured boy’s mother, Luz Cuartas, who saw the dogs that attacked her son, viewed the carcass and thought it probably was the right dog, Garbarek said, “but she wasn’t 100 per cent certain.”

Garbarek said the friend who was with Jorge when he was attacked also viewed the dead dog, but “was very emotional and couldn’t say with any certainty that he remembered the dog.”

In time, Garbarek said, Jorge will be asked if he can identify the dog “when doctors determine he can handle it.” The youth’s leg had to be amputated last week after two dogs bit him more than 100 times from the neck down.

Hair samples from the dead dog also will be compared with those on the boy’s clothing in an attempt to identify the animal, Garbarek said.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

WARNINGS DON’T KEEP CURIOUS FROM AREA WHERE STRAYS ROAM

Monday, August 1, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 1B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: JOAN FLEISCHMAN Herald Staff Writer

 

Sergio Del Olmo, 12, spent Sunday riding his bike, as he does most weekends. Only this day was different. Before he set out, he armed himself with a foot-long iron rod, one big enough to fend off wild dogs.

Del Olmo and his pal, Oscar Zayas, 11, ventured through an area of West Dade off-limits to many youngsters. They rode through Lakes of the Meadow, a residential development under construction where the previous weekend two mongrels mauled an 11-year-old so ferociously that the boy’s leg had to be amputated.

“Mama just said, ‘Be careful,’ ” said Del Olmo, who carried the rod strapped over his shoulder. “That’s why I’m carrying this.”

Although the two dogs believed responsible for the attack were captured — one trapped, one shot to death — the construction site between Bird and Miller roads at 147th Avenue should be steered clear of because there are other strays in the area, said Vaughan Garbarek, director of Dade County’s Animal Services.

Instead, curiosity seekers of all ages keep coming. “We could have a repeat of what happened,” Garbarek warned.

“Being the parent of a small child myself, I would not let my kid go down there,” he added. “Whether we have the right two

dogs> or not, at this point we want to get these other dogs out of there, for everybody’s good.”

Jorge Cuartas, the victim of the attack, remains in American Hospital. Last week, doctors removed his left leg below the calf. He probably will undergo at least two more operations, and will remain hospitalized for at least two months, his father said Sunday night.

“It’s a miracle he’s alive,” said Alvaro Cuartas.

The mixed-breed animal killed by Metro-Dade police officers Phil Gaylord and Clinton Terry are probably “the right dog, according to my son’s description,” Cuartas said.

The two policemen fired at least four shots — Terry with his shotgun, Gaylord with his handgun — before felling the white dog with black spots at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.

Although authorities are certain that that mongrel, as well as two other dogs captured in the area since the attack, do not have rabies, young Cuartas did receive rabies shots as a preventive measure, his father said.

The injections, he said, are a new type and were not painful.

Animal Services officers say traps baited with fresh meat will remain scattered through Lakes of the Meadow. Several of the traps have been moved because of the curiosity seekers, Garbarek said.

“The more activity around the traps, the less chance of catching anything in it,” Garbarek said.

Some residents continue to be cautious.

Mercedes Carasa, mother of an 11-year-old son named Alex, said her son is forbidden to go near the area. “No bikes, no walking, no nothing,” she said.

And Jose Rivera, 16, whose family lives at Lakes of the Meadow, ordinarily spends weekends on his three-wheel motorcycle, tearing across the 600-acre complex, riding between the huge mounds of dirt and rocks. “Now, my father won’t let me go through there,” he said.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

DOG-ATTACK VICTIM’S CONDITION IMPROVES

Saturday, August 6, 1983

Section: LOCAL                                    Page: 2B

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: HERALD STAFF

 

Eleven-year-old Jorge Cuartas, whose left leg was amputated at mid-calf after being savagely bitten by two dogs two weeks ago, has left the intensive care unit at American Hospital.

Cuartas, who was bitten more than 100 times from the neck down, was transferred out of ICU on Thursday and is “doing very well,” Dr. Leonelo Ruisanchez said.

Stray dogs bit the boy while he was riding his bike in a construction site near SW 147th Avenue and 48th Street. Officials have set traps in an attempt to catch other strays in the area.

A plastic surgeon is scheduled to begin skin-grafting tissue on Cuartas’ legs, which were badly disfigured by the dog bites, in the next few days.

One dog that was captured has been killed. Another large dog was killed July 29 by Metro Dade police officers. Neither had rabies.

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

THE MIAMI HERALD

MAULED BOY TAKES STEPS TO RECOVERY

Saturday, September 3, 1983

Section: LOCAL                  Page: 1D

SOURCE/CREDIT LINE: LIZ BALMASEDA Herald Staff Writer

 

Jorge Cuartas was tense before the camera lights and the reporters, and he looked uneasily at the little wrapped sausages that were put out as hors d’oeuvres at his goodby party at American Hospital Friday.

The 11-year-old patient, who became a cause celebre during his six-week stay at the hospital, where he was recovering from a vicious dog attack that left him without a leg, will go home today.

He will leave the hospital in a wheelchair, in spotless green and white Adidas, and he will take with him stacks of get- well cards.

In two weeks, he’ll go back to school at Coral Park Elementary, where he will be a sixth-grader. His physical therapist says that, fitted with a temporary prosthesis, Jorge — if cooperative — could be walking in three months and playing soccer shortly after that.

But it was not easy to think about going home. Home is just blocks from the construction site where on July 22 two scavenger dogs knocked him off his bike and mauled him for half an hour, biting his thin body more than 100 times. Days later, doctors amputated his left leg at mid-calf.

“I’m afraid of the place where the dogs are. I’m afraid now of dogs … all kinds of dogs,” Jorge said.

That kind of talk is rare for Jorge Cuartas, who was known around the hospital for his good spirit. Mostly everyone who watched him pass by in his wheelchair, waving and smiling, had something to say about him.

The “little sweetheart of pediatrics,” one hospital worker at Jorge’s going-away party called him.

” … His attitude — it’s so positive,” said Jorge’s occupational therapist, Susan Shamon, digging into a slice of cake.

She was interrupted by a remark from her celebrated patient — “Weren’t you on a diet?”

Jorge’s stagefright, which briefly had put off television cameras, had melted in the confusion of questions and greetings. Jorge, the guest of honor who had almost canceled his own party, was back to his old self, chasing his brother on his wheelchair, cracking jokes (about the wrapped sausages: “I advise all of you not to eat those things.”).

When the interviews were over, Jorge Cuartas was served a thick slice of cake — no sausages — on a tray.

“Got everything you need, champ?” one reporter asked.

Jorge arranged the tray on his lap, fixed a sheet over his legs, and, before answering the question, leaned over to draw in his false leg, which had carelessly slipped.

“Yeah,” he said, “everything but my foot.”

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All content © 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD and may not be republished without permission.

 

 

Purchasable Miami Herald Articles Link

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Other Dog Attack Links

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19830725&id=6KdNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oPsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2372,3709013&hl=en

 

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19830725&id=LXAeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=d2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3786,3739663&hl=en

 

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http://www.dogsbitedecatural.com/2011/09/miami-fl-1983-2-pit-bulldogs-maul-11.html