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HOUSTON A dog ownerwho consistently allowed his petto run loose without a leash is facing serious charges after the animal attacked a 2-year-old boy in southwest Houston, according to Houston police.

Anthony Donnell Ruff was charged with dog attack/ failure to secure dog; a felony.

The little boy s mom said he was outside playing with the neighbor s kids at their apartment complex in the 12500 block of Sandpiper on August 27 when her 4-year-old son, who was also playing outside, ran inside and told her that his little brother was dead. Panicked, the mother ran outside and found her son covered in blood and the neighbor s dog, which was unsupervised and without aleash, standing nearby with blood around its mouth.

The dog s owner, Ruff, said he let the dog go outside to use the bathroom and it ran around the corner like it usually does. Ruff said his 8-year-old stepson was with the dog, a pit bull/ Rottweiler mix, and denied that the animal was aggressive, according to court documents.

The stepson allegedly told investigators that he was outside playing with the other kids when Ruff opened the door and let the dog run out without the leash. He said Ruff told him to take the dog to the restroom, then went back inside and closed the door. The stepson said he saw the dog attack the 2-year-old and ran back inside to tell Ruff. The stepson described the dog as bad and said he frequently barked at people.

The stepson also said that he once had to kick the dog in the face to stop him from biting the toddler before. The boy confirmed that they allowed the dog to run free, and would only pull it on a leash when it refused to come back inside, investigators said.

The toddler sustained multiple lacerations covering half of his face, across his scalp and forehead, and down his cheek, in addition to multiple deep puncture wounds in his back. The injuries required multiple stitches.

Ruff s bail was set at $5,000.

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