DISCOVERY BAY -- A 6-year-old boy was taken by helicopter Thursday evening to Children's Hospital Oakland after a family dog attacked the child's face, officials said.

The boy was playing in the backyard of his family home on Amesbury Drive about 7:30 p.m. when a family member's chocolate-brown Chesapeake Bay retriever bit the boy, said Rick Golphin, deputy director for Contra Costa County Animal Services. The boy was taken by ambulance to a nearby medical helicopter, which flew him to the Oakland hospital with serious facial injuries.

The boy's condition was unknown as of Friday, Golphin said. Authorities were still investigating what may have prompted the family pet to attack the boy.

The dog was taken from the home by Animal Services, which will hold it in rabies quarantine for at least 10 days, Golphin said. After that time, a hearing officer will make a recommendation about whether the dog should be considered a threat to the family and others.

"We offer a hearing process that will determine whether he'll be designated as potentially dangerous," Golphin said. "It's something we commonly do with dog bites, and the recommendation will take between 10 and 30 days."

No information was available Friday regarding the dog's temperament or history of threatening behavior, Golphin said.



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