Sunday, September 30, 2007

Four-year-old attacked by dog in Sumter; dog euthanized

SOUTH CAROLINA -- A four-year-old was flung around like a rag doll, attacked by a vicious dog before his dad pried him loose. WIS News 10 talked to the Sumter family who survived the ordeal.

He's only four years old, his head covered completely in bandages, but Christian Hipps is still able to wave to the camera, despite being attacked by a bull mastiff.

"His intentions were I think to kill him," said Anthony Hipps.

Anthony saw it all when it happened Friday around 2:00pm. Christian and his sister were playing outside in the front yard, and that's when Christian's dad heard a scream.

"As I walked out the door I said, 'he looks dead, I don't think he's alive,'" Anthony recalled.

That's because he said Christian's head was inside the dog's mouth.

"The dog had Christian by the head, just throwing him like a rag on the ground," Anthony told WIS News 10.

That's when dad stepped in and wrestled the dog.

"The dog was intent on not letting go," says Anthony.

But finally he did. Anthony says Christian walked back in the house, the dog went back home, and that's where Sumter police picked him up just two doors down.

"I'm just devastated this happened," said the dog's owner.

She wanted to remain anonymous, but she says the dog broke free from a body leash and jumped two fences to get out.

"If I had been there I would have jumped in front of a bullet for one of their children or any child for that matter," she said.

She says she got Brutus from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was a gift for her daughter whose father had just died. She's only had him a month and had no idea what he was capable of doing.

Christian is expected to make a full recovery, but will be in the hospital for about two weeks.

Prior to attacking the 4-year-old, police say the mastiff attacked a Pomeranian. The owner was able to free the dog from the mastiff's mouth. The Pomeranian's owner received minor injuries.  A friend of the mastiff's owner picked the dog up from the scene.

Chief Patty Patterson says Brutus was put to sleep Monday at around 3pm.

(WISTV - Sept 29, 2007)