ANTIOCH -- The owners of the two pit bulls that attacked 10-year-old Martinez resident Hunter Kilbourn almost two weeks ago have refused to surrender their dogs to police and instead have asked for hearings for both animals.
"I am actually sick. I can't believe this," Melody Ralls, Hunter's mother, said Wednesday just minutes after she learned of the owners' hearing request. Ralls had brought her son home Tuesday from UC Davis Children's Hospital after two surgeries to repair severe lacerations to his face, eye and ear.
One of the animals involved in the Aug. 11 attack was scheduled to be euthanized Thursday. The hearing will be scheduled once the quarantine period for the second pit bull has expired at the end of this week.
If the owners, who have not been identified, decide against appealing the police department's declaration that the dogs are "vicious animals," the hearing will be canceled and the dogs will be put down.
Ralls said officers with animal control have asked her to put together a binder with all relevant information to the case, including medical documentation and pictures.
Apart from a text message sent to her husband from one of the dog's owners saying he felt bad about what happened, neither owner has been in contact with Ralls or her family, she said.
Hunter, will meet with doctors again Thursday to determine whether the skin grafts he received last week were successful. He has started having nightmares of the attack, Ralls said, but he has remained "mostly in good spirits."
Ralls briefly removed Hunter's helmet-like bandage Wednesday to let him get some air, she said. Hunter, ever the 10-year-old boy, began moving around too much for his mother's liking and she soon had to put the bandage back on, Ralls said with a chuckle.
Hunter, who was about to start fourth grade at Morello Park Elementary School, was at a friend's house on in the 2000 block of Reseda Drive on Aug. 11 when the attack occurred. According to reports, the two dogs knocked him down some steps inside the home and without warning, mauled his face.
He underwent two skin graft surgeries, one to reattach his right ear and one to repair significant damage to his right eyelid and the right side of his forehead and face.