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4-Year-Old Loses Part Of Leg After Being Attacked By Dad's K-9

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A 4-year-old boy lost part of his lower left leg after being attacked by his father's K-9 partner.

Michael Mastaler, an officer with the Rialto Police Department, lived with both his family and his K-9 partner of two years, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois named Jango, in Hesperia. After returning home from a training session Sunday, Mastaler thought his 4-year-old son Hunter was playing video games inside, so let Jango out of his kennel in his fenced-in backyard, the OC Register reports. Mastaler then went inside to change his clothes. Mastaler's wife was out shopping with their 18-month-old son at the time.

Hunter, however, soon went outside to look for his mother. Neighbors then heard Hunter screaming, and one yelled for two nearby boys to call 9-1-1. The father of one of the boys, Jeff Houlemard, 34, came to the rescue. Houlemard used to be a Navy swimmer, but had to leave the service after being stabbed six times in the stomach. He knocked down part of the fence, then jumped on the dog. He said he had to pry the dog's mouth open and pin the dog to the ground to get him to stop attacking the boy.

Hunter was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center where he had to have eight inches of his lower left leg amputated, KTLA reports. He will remain there for the next week.

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Jango has been put in quarantine where he will stay for the next 10 days, as authorities decide whether he should be euthanized. Rialto PD Capt. Randy De Anda said that they are unsure why Jango attacked the boy. Though De Anda said Jango was generally "mild-mannered," he thinks it is likely the dog will be put down.

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