Teen allegedly attacked by dog ​​at center of pit bull controversy

A dog that made headlines after it was picked up by animal services in early October — and released after its fate sparked rallies against pit bull regulations in Ontario — allegedly mutilated a 13-year-old child, leaving the boy’s face swollen and needing stitches.

Muhammad Almutaz Alzghool says the dog, known as Blu, attacked and bit him at Black Belt World, a downtown Toronto taekwondo studio owned by Blu co-owner Tommy Chang.

The boy says that after completing the lesson he saw Blu and told his instructor that he was afraid of dogs. He says his instructor challenged him to overcome his fear.

“He told me that you have to overcome your fears and if you don’t you won’t be a national taekwondo champion,” Muhammad told CBC Toronto.

“So I walked up to the dog and looked at it… As I was looking at it, it jumped in my face and bit it.”

He needed more than a dozen stitches.

The dog, Blu, was recently detained by animal services for 24 days on suspicion of being a pit bull, which are banned in Ontario. (Submitted by Tommy Chang)

“I feel really bad because after these stitches there might be scars on my face. It hurts a lot,” he said.

Blu, a one-year-old American Pocket Bully, was seized by animal services more than a month ago on suspicion that he was a pit bull, which is banned in Ontario. It was then returned to its owners on 1 November.

Chang and an attorney hired by the family declined to comment.

Ontario banned the ownership of pit bulls in 2005. The legislation also banned any dog ​​with similar characteristics, which many owners found problematic.

The provincial government on Friday relaxed regulations related to the ban, allowing seized dogs that resemble a banned breed to be released pending an investigation.

Vaughan Animal Services did not seize the dog and the incident is under police investigation, the city of Vaughan, where Chang lives, said in a statement Monday.

Toronto police said they received a dog bite report on Friday, but did not comment on next steps.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the dog would have been subject to stricter regulations had it been released after Ontario’s regulations changed on Friday. These restrictions would include ensuring the dog has no contact with the general public or anyone who does not know it.

Muhammad’s father, Muath Alzghool, was at the facility when he heard his son screaming.

He calls on the Ontario government to reconsider pit bull legislation.

“The most important thing for me is to establish rules or to have rules that prevent these dogs from entering these facilities,” Alzghool said.