Friday, April 28, 2017

Georgia: Seven-year-old boy mauled by babysitter's pit bull, police say

GEORGIA -- A 7-year-old boy police said was mauled by a pit bull Monday afternoon in Glynn County has been upgraded to good condition at Wolfson Children's Hospital, News4Jax has learned.

Police Chief Matt Doering said the boy, Zaquan Armstrong, was at a babysitter’s house on Ogg Avenue, in the front yard, and the dog was tied up in the backyard.

Toi Porter, a family friend who was babysitting the boy, said after she walked Zaquan to the home from his bus stop, she told him not to go into the backyard while she went into the house to get the dog.

If the pit bull was in the backyard and she told the boy not to go into the backyard, why did she go "into the house to get the dog"? Why wouldn't she just walk into the backyard to get the dog and presumably lock it inside the house? 

But she told police the boy went around to the backyard, and that’s when the dog, who was secured by a chain leash, attacked Zaquan. The dog bit the boy several times in the face and head, inflicting severe lacerations, police said.

The dog's owner, Jacob McMillan, told police he was inside the home when Porter, his girlfriend's daughter, came in and the two of them heard the dog growling in the backyard and what sounded like the dog attacking something.

McMillan said when he ran out back, he saw the dog's mouth wrapped around the top of the boy's head. He forcibly pulled the dog off the boy while a witness called 911 to report the attack.

Zaquan was taken to Wolfson Children's Hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Julie Holmes-Taylor with Animal Services said the dog is being held at her facility. It is being quarantined for the next 10 days as Georgia state law requires.

She said McMillan has signed paperwork allowing the dog to be euthanized once that time is up.

She called it a "no-win situation."

"It’s very traumatic on our officers, you know, because all of our officers here have pets and all of us have family members and kids and you think this is, unfortunately, this is one of those things that could happen to any of us," Holmes-Taylor said.

Holmes-Taylor said this should be a warning to all dog owners.

"If you have any type of dog that you know has a propensity to bite or to be aggressive, be a proactive owner and be a responsible owner," she said. "It’s not just about making sure that your dog can’t get off the property, but making sure that people can’t get to your dog, as well."

(News4Jax - April 27, 2017)

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