MARTINEZ -- Hunter Kilbourn, the 10-year-old boy mauled by pit bulls at a friend's home in Antioch nearly two weeks ago, was having a rough day Thursday.

Doctors removed several sutures on his face and head that held together skin grafts meant to repair severe lacerations he sustained in the attack. Hunter also found out he was going to need more surgery and that he would need to go back to UC Davis Children's Hospital twice a week for checkups starting Tuesday.

But a surprise package from the Oakland A's, waiting for Hunter when he got home, changed his day for the better.

"The healing process for (Hunter) is very much a day-to-day thing," said his mother, Melody Ralls. "It was a tough appointment today. ... This totally helped his spirits."

Hunter, a huge A's fan himself, received numerous items from the team, including a signed picture and baseball from outfielder Josh Reddick.

Reddick even invited Hunter to take batting practice with the team when he was feeling better.

The smile on Hunter's face in a photo taken by his mother conveyed just how excited the 10-year-old was to receive the gift.

Hunter was released from the hospital Tuesday after a week and a half stay that included two skin graft surgeries.

Hunter, who was about to start fourth grade at Morello Park Elementary School, was at a friend's house on in the 2000 block of Reseda Drive in Antioch on Aug. 11 when he was attacked by the dogs.


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The dogs' owners have requested hearings before they are surrended for euthanization. A hearing will be scheduled once the second dog is out of quarantine at the end of this week.

While Hunter admired his new gifts from the A's Thursday at his home in Martinez, Ralls said he suddenly stopped and asked her, "Why are people doing this for me?"

Ralls knew exactly what to say to her son.

"Because you are so brave, and because you are so strong," she said.

Contact Katie Nelson at knelson@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.