VICTORVILLE, Calif. – A mother has been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty after her 2-year-old son was found unsupervised and surrounded by a pack of dogs at a California park while wearing only a soiled diaper in the rain, police said.
Victorville Police Department said authorities responded to Brentwood Park in Victorville Wednesday morning following a report of a toddler there who was encircled by several dogs, KTLA in Los Angeles first reported.
The first sergeant to arrive found the child wearing only a soiled diaper, in the cold and wet weather. The boy was surrounded by at least seven dogs, who were “protective” of him as the sergeant tried to get the child out of the rain, police said.
Once the toddler was safe, the sergeant and other officers figured out where the boy lived. When they arrived at the boy’s home, the same dogs from the park were at the doorstep. The child’s mother, identified as 26-year-old Cassandra Bustamante, and two siblings were in the home as well, according to police.
The mother was sleeping and apparently did not know her son had left the house, police said.
Police requested a response from San Bernardino County Children and Family Service because of the circumstances of the call and overall condition of the home, authorities said. CFS later released all three children to the custody of their father.
Animal control was called in to handle the animals at the house and ended up shooting one of the dogs after it became “very aggressive and lunged” at the sergeant, trying to bite him, according to police. The dog was taken to a veterinary hospital.
Bustamante was arrested and booked into the High Desert Detention Center for child cruelty, police said.