Mom Claims Animal Shelter Lied About the Adopted Dog That Attacked Her Son

Ashley Prater/Facebook

When Ashley Prater's mom was finally ready to adopt a new dog after the loss of an old pet last year, Prater was eager to help her find one. Along with her young son, Ashley and her mother took a trip to a local animal shelter looking for a new friend. While it didn't take them long to settle on a dog, something horrific happened only hours after they brought the animal home -- something Ashley said could have been avoided if the shelter hadn't lied about the dog's breed.

  • In a Facebook post, Ashley shared graphic photos of her son badly injured in a hospital bed.

    The mom says she and her family went to a local SPCA pet fair, and after looking around, they chose what they thought was a large mastiff mixed breed dog named Caesar. "Caesar was very friendly and we spent three hours with him before deciding to adopt him," she wrote. "A lady who worked at the shelter told her [my mom] that she had taken Caesar home with her to foster him and he was very sweet. She said that if he didn’t get adopted that day she would take him back to her home because she refused to let such a sweet dog go back to the shelter."

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  • Unfortunately, only two hours after they brought him home, Caesar attacked Ashley's son.

    The mom claims her son did nothing to provoke the dog's attack. "Me and my son were sitting on the floor petting him and he viciously attacked him," she wrote.

  • While the accident was not fatal, the boy spent an entire day in the hospital and is still recovering from his injuries.

    Ashley claims that when animal control picked Caesar up the next day, they told her the dog was not a mastiff mix, but a pit bull mix.

    "I am very disappointed in the East Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter for not disclosing this information," she wrote. "And now that I have had time to reflect on this traumatic event, a lot of the dogs up for adoption looked like pit bulls but NONE of their tags said that they were."

  • In an official statement, the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter said it's classifying the attack as an "isolated incident."

    Ashley Prater/Facebook

    "We realize the inherent risks involved with any adoptable animal and our records will show this as in isolated incident," the statement reads. "We pride ourselves on having a world-class facility and one of the largest intake shelters in the state. We also take a progressive approach to the adoption process with our knowledgeable and caring staff. We will continue to work to make the JPAS one of the finest facilities in the state.”

    Additionally, the Louisiana SPCA defended the shelter, noting that it can be difficult to properly classify dogs by breed. "Pit bull is actually not a breed. It's a group of dogs with very similar features we kinda lumped into one, that's why we call them pit bull mixes," spokesperson Alicia Haefele told WWL News.

  • Haefele also said it's important to keep an eye on all dogs -- not just pit bulls -- when they are around children.

    "You have got to keep an eye on the interactions between children and a dog 24/7 even if you've had that pet for five years," she explained. "They're animals and sometimes animals can be unpredictable so do your due diligence to make sure your animal feels safe and comfortable and also that everyone in your home is safe."

    More from CafeMom: 7 Ways to Prep Pets for a New Baby's Arrival

    Still, Ashley Prater says that her family's experience with Caesar has soured them to the idea of dog ownership for the time being. "[Unfortunately] that now my son is traumatized and does not even want to look at another dog," she wrote. "And quite frankly I don't blame him."

dogs health & safety