By Leigh Martinez

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — The father of a young boy who was mauled to death by a pit bull says he’s filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Sacramento County Child Protective Services on Tuesday.

CPS had custody of 9-year-old Tyler Trammel-Huston, but the boy’s father says he never gave up his parental rights. John Huston believes his son would still be alive had CPS investigated the trailer Tyler was sharing with three pit bulls.

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“I love my son very much. I gave him everything I could,” he said.

Huston always keeps his son’s photos at his fingertips. He lost custody of Tyler two years ago, leaving the boy in the care of CPS.

“The father has a mental handicap, so they took Tyler away from his father,” his attorney Moseley Collins said. “His father always loved him. He would visit with him twice a month.”

Collins says CPS allowed the 9-year-old to stay with his half-sister on weekends.

“They either knew or should have known there were three pit bulls there, they knew or should have known there was no working bathroom, they knew or should have known the 24-year-old girl was going to be gone, and leave the boy alone with these dogs,” he said.

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Alexandra Griffin-Heady went to work on Jan. 2, leaving Tyler alone in the Linda trailer with her three dogs. Tyler was dead when she returned.

A Yuba County detective broke the news to Huston.

“He called and said, ‘Mr. Huston, I hope you are sitting down.’ I said ‘What’s this about?’ He said, ‘Tyler passed away.’ He had been mauled by three pit bulls,” he said.

At Tyler’s funeral, his foster mom Gloria Hudson spoke fondly of the six months they shared together.

“Tyler was a good kid and I’m happy my family had him for the short time we did. I loved him and took care of him,” she said.

His sister also attended. Huston isn’t filing a lawsuit against her, saying CPS had better options for Tyler’s home.

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“It’s reckless to let a child go stay in a trailer alone with three pit bulls. That’s just reckless,” Collins said.