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Boy mauled by pit bulls improving

The Associated Press
Friday August 03, 2001

OAKLAND — The boy who was mauled by three pit bulls in June is showing signs of improvement, but hospital officials said Thursday he likely will not get to go home any time soon. 

Shawn Jones, 10, is receiving speech and physical therapy. Doctors hope the daily sessions will help him regain motor skills and help them recognize the damage done. 

”(Today) he sang to his doctor a Whitney Houston song. He also sings songs he makes up,” said Carol Hyman, media director of the Children’s Hospital in Oakland. 

Hyman said doctors could not estimate how long the boy will stay in the hospital, but said it could be many months. He still must undergo muscle and nerve reconstruction. 

Shawn was riding his new bicycle in his Richmond neighborhood on June 18 when he was attacked by the dogs. His injuries included dozens of puncture wounds on his upper body and both his ears were torn from his head. His hearing was not affected. All but one of his wounds have closed. 

“He is working very hard in physical therapy,” Hyman said. “Dr. Elaine Pico (a rehabilitation physician) said he was even complaining, and that is a good sign because it means he is pushing himself to the limits.” 

Since Monday, Shawn has been in a regular room with another boy his age in the rehabilitation unit, and had a trip to the playroom Thursday. 

Two of the three dogs are in the custody of animal control officers. The third was never found. 

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has charged the owner of the pit bulls, Benjamin Moore, 27, with two misdemeanor counts of allegedly concealing the dogs after the attack. A hearing for Moore was scheduled for Aug. 8.