TEHACHAPI, CA (KERO/CNN) - A California father thought he was doing the right thing when he took in a dog so it wouldn’t go to the shelter, but after the dog attacked his 6-month-old daughter, he’s telling other parents it’s not worth the risk.
When Bobby Fritz learned Khonsu, a Dogo Argentino, was suddenly without a home, he didn’t want to see the dog get taken to a shelter.
Fritz knew the dog’s owner, who brought the dog to the father’s workplace every day. As a dog owner himself, Fritz decided to take Khonsu in.
"We thought we were doing the right thing... I was very familiar with this dog. We brought the dog home, and everything was fine. We introduced it to our dog slowly,” Fritz said.
Fritz says Khonsu instantly took to his wife and three kids, which is why he never imagined that less than 24 hours later, his good deed would end in the severe injury of his 6-month-old daughter Adaliah.
His wife was in the middle of changing the baby’s diaper and walked about 5 feet away to grab a new diaper, according to Fritz. She was only turned away for a matter of seconds.
“She heard a bark and turned around, and the dog was running away from the baby. The baby sat up, and blood started just pouring down her face,” Fritz said.
Adaliah suffered a large laceration and punctured skull. Her father said her injuries were so severe she had to undergo brain surgery.
"We're truly blessed that she's still here with us. It's a miracle. She's our little angel. We just prayed and prayed, and she pushed through,” Fritz said.
Adaliah’s recovery couldn’t be going better, but she will remain in the hospital for at least two weeks, according to Fritz.
"She's fighting good, and she's acting like nothing even happened,” he said.
Fritz is now advising other parents to be especially careful when bringing unfamiliar animals around their children.
"We feel horrible about what our baby girl has been having to go through, all because we didn't want to see the dog go to the pound,” Fritz said. "I see posts all the time of people taking in dogs off the street and stuff like that. Just don't do it. Call an animal shelter.”
Kern County Animal Services says Khonsu will be quarantined at their Mojave, CA, shelter for 10 days.
Dogo Argentinos are powerful dogs originally bred to hunt animals like wild boar and cougars.