Parents of Boy Attacked by Family Dog Plead Not Guilty to Child Abuse

By Cheryl Hurd
|  Monday, Jun 10, 2013  |  Updated 6:29 PM PDT
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A Pleasanton couple plead not guilty to child abuse charges Monday after their son was bitten by their family dog -- a 96-pound Presa Canario. Cheryl Hurd reports.

A Pleasanton couple plead not guilty to child abuse charges Monday after their son was bitten by their family dog -- a 96-pound Presa Canario. Cheryl Hurd reports.

Parents of a 5-year-old boy bitten by their family dog -- a 96-pound Presa Canario -- have plead not guilty to child abuse charges.

Marc Korenberg and Myrveta Lila, who both were arrested Friday, appeared Monday at a Pleasanton courtroom to enter their plea.

"We’re just getting involved. This is just the preliminary stages, I don’t have much information other than not guilty,” Attorney Ivan Morse said.

Police say the child was bitten twice by the dog -- with the only reported incident at the Korenberg's Pleasanton apartment on May 19.

Detectives later discovered the boy was also bitten by the dog in March.

In the most recent attack, the boy suffered multiple facial injuries, authorities said.

Police say in both cases he was left alone in a room with the dog.

A judge during a May 28 court hearing said the dog was vicious, and told the owner to either send the dog away to a rehab center in Ohio or to euthanize the animal. The owners decided to send the dog away.

Presa Canarios grabbed headlines in 2001 when St. Mary's Lacrosse Coach Diane Whipple was mauled to death by a dog in that breed in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment.

Oakland Animal Shelter Director Dave Cronin said there's no legitimate breeder out there who would adopt a Presa Canario to a family that lives in an apartment.

This is not his case, but he says he's seen plenty of evidence that dogs that can be deadly.

"They probably have no idea where they sent their dog to in Ohio," Cronin said.

NBC Bay Area contacted the Ohio rehab center, a shelter that deals specifically with this unusual breed of dog. The person who answered the phone would only confirm that the dog in this case is on its way.

View a full report from Cheryl Hurd by clicking on the play button of the video above.
 

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