ANTELOPE VALLEY – This past holiday season was supposed to be one of the most important times of young Carlos Blakely’s life. The 6-year-old Las Vegas resident was meeting his biological father and grandparents for the first time, and he was spending the holidays with them in the Antelope Valley.
“His family was very excited and they wanted to take him everywhere and show him off,” said mother Julieta Campos. “They took him to [Lake Los Angeles] because they have a cabin out there.”
The family reunion took a tragic turn this past Sunday, when little Carlos was viciously attacked by a pack of dogs outside of the Lake Los Angeles home.
Deputies responded to a call regarding a vicious dog attack, around 2:55 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 30), in the 20700 Block of East Avenue J, according to a news release by the Lancaster Station. The boy’s injuries were so severe, he had to be airlifted to the Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment.
“I don’t know what would make any dog do this,” Campos said. “What would make their rage so bad to want to eat a child? That’s what they were doing, they were eating my son.”
“They found the toy and my daughter started walking back towards the cabin to go inside, and I guess, at that point, the dogs were already there looking at him,” Campos said. “When he turned around and started to go back [to the house], that’s when they started attacking him.”
She said Carlos was fully conscious during the attack. Four dogs were present, but only three of them attacked Carlos – two German Shepherds and a Bullmastiff, Campos said. As the dogs mauled her son, her daughter raced into the house to get help, Campos said.
“Her Grandpa came out and started yelling at the dogs,” Campos said. “They got scared because he was a lot bigger, so they ran.”
She said the traumatized grandparents called authorities for help. When Campos heard the news, she dropped everything, and drove to California from Las Vegas.
“It was the longest drive, I just wanted to get here so bad,” Campos said. “It was just breaking my heart that I couldn’t be right next to him and tell him that I was there for him.”
Campos said nothing could have prepared her for the extent of her son’s injuries.
“They took a piece of his scalp, a piece of his ear, he has lacerations that go from his ear to his mouth, they cut one of the nerves on the corner of his lip, so he can only talk and smile with the left side,” Campos said. “He has two bites on his arm that required stitching, he has bite marks that go from his back to his little butt and down his legs, he has a few stitches in the legs, and he has bruises and scratches all over his body.”
Campos said she made it to the hospital while her son was in surgery, and said she struggled to pull herself together as her son came out of the recovery room.
“He looked so bad at that time, I just didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I knew I needed to be strong for him, he couldn’t see me cry because if I break down, that means he’s going to break down.”
Campos believes the strength, love and prayers from family members have worked wonders for Carlos’ recovery. She says her son has been recuperating quickly and he’s even managed to keep his spirits up. Carlos is already walking around and trying to do things on his own, Campos said.
“Everyone has been really nice to him, they’ve been telling him things like he’s a miracle baby, and that he’s a beautiful child, regardless of what he looks like now,” Campos said. “But we still have to watch him because he still has a lot of wounds.”
The family has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House, across the street from the Loma Linda Medical Center. They will be returning to Las Vegas within the next week, Campos said.
An animal control officer brought pictures to the family of the four dogs believed to be involved in the attack, and Carlos identified three of the four dogs as the culprits. Campos said she has not given much thought to the dogs since the attack.
“At this time, I only know that there are three owners, but I have not gotten in contact with any of them. I’m just trying to help my son recuperate first,” she said.
Carlos will likely suffer permanent scarring, Campos said.
“In the future, cosmetic surgery is something that I would have to look at for him, so we are trying to gather up some funds to be able to do that for him,” she said. “He’s never going to be back to normal, but in order for him to have a chance at looking like a normal person, he would require cosmetic surgery.”
Campos has established a bank account in her son’s name and is hoping to obtain donations from the community that would help defray the cost of cosmetic surgery.
To donate to this effort, visit any local Chase bank and request to make a donation to the account of Carlos Alexander Blakely. More pictures of Carlos Blakely are here.
The four dogs taken into custody after Sunday’s attack remain at the County Department of Animal Care and Control’s Lancaster Center. Animal control officers Thursday said the three dogs identified in the attack will be held until an investigation is concluded. They could not say what would happen to the dogs at the end of the investigation. The fourth dog will be available for adoption, because its owner did not want the dog anymore, said animal control officers.