Despite biting a 12-year-old boy in an Ingleside Heights home, a pit bull named Blue is actually the victim in an ongoing criminal case, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The pooch’s owner, 64-year-old Betty Whiteside, is facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge in connection with the Dec. 16 incident at a home on Charles Avenue. That day, according to court records, police responded to the residence on a report that Blue had bitten Whiteside’s grandson.
When police arrived, they saw that it was Blue — not the grandson — who was in bad shape. The dog weighed only 38 pounds, his ribs were protruding and his body was covered in sores, according to police.
Blue was kept in an odorous 2-by-2-foot area in a back hallway of the house where he slept amid feces and garbage.
Investigators also learned that the bite was not overly aggressive. The 12-year-old was reportedly fighting with his brother when the dog became uneasy and nipped the boy’s ankle, according to court documents.
Blue was seized and remains in the custody of Animal Care and Control.
On Wednesday, Whiteside pleaded not guilty to the charge, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said. Her case is next scheduled for a pretrial conference April 9, Bastian said.
The story does have a happy ending, though. Nearly three weeks after Animal Care and Control took custody of Blue, he had gained almost 10 pounds.