Mersadis Tuttle, Payton's mother, tells News Channel 8 her son was with his grandmother last Wednesday when it happened. The two were sitting on a bench, eating lunch near the RCS Food Bank on South Myrtle Avenue and Druid Road.
The child went to throw away trash when the grandmother said a medium-sized pit bull came up to the child, licked his face and then attacked him.
The dog's owner did not have the dog on a leash.
The grandmother asked a witness to dial 911 while she rushed the child to the nearest hospital - Morton Plant ER. Payton received 11 stitches.
According to Tuttle, the witness never called police and the dog and owner disappeared. She filed a police report Saturday after leaving the hospital.
Unfortunately, Payton had to return to the emergency room after his wounds became infected. He is currently in the ICU at Tampa General Hospital.
Tuttle is asking anyone with any information on the dog and it's owner to contact authorities.
She has created a GoFundMe page to help with his care.
GOFUNDME: Paytons Dog Bite Recovery
Created April 28, 2018
Hello everyone. I have been very over whelmed as this is the most traumatizing thing as a parent I have ever dealt with. There are no words to describe truly the mental agony this has put on our family.
On April 25th, Payton was bitten by a Pit bull on his face. The Pit bull was on a leash, however the leash was not being held on to as it should. The Pit bull licked Payton and then snapped him in the face at the same instance.
"PIT AND RUN"
The owner and the dog left when Payton was taken to the hospital and have not been found. Clearwater Animal Control and Clearwater Police Department are doing what they can to locate them. Unfortunately the odds of finding them is extremely low.
Unfortunately with dog bites, infection is very common. Hopefully we will have answers as soon as tomorrow rather plastic surgery is needed. We have quite a lot ahead of us in the coming weeks. This has put a huge unexpected financial strain on our family. I have had so many people reach out asking if there is anything they can do to help.
Previously I have declined any help however the circumstances have continually changed. All I ask of anyone and everyone is too please not harm your own family's financial well being to help mine. We appreciate anything. Pictures following the attack. ￼ ￼ ￼
I want to say thank you to everyone. It is a blessing to have people we have never met, help us. It really means a lot to our family.
It has almost been a week since Payton was bit by a dog. Unfortunately we still have absolutely no idea who the owner is or where the dog may be.
A Clearwater Police Department Officer has said, "The chances of finding them are extremely low."
Payton has been such a brave and strong kiddo through all of this. It has taken a couple different antibiotics to get the infection under control. This has been our upmost concern. Infections from dog bites can potentially be fatal. There will also be no more procedures which is a huge relief!
The swelling in his face continues to go down along with the bruising. I am so thankful his grandmother was holding his hand when this happened and reacted in the manner she did as it could have been so much worse.
Payton is such a lucky kid to have only abstained the injuries he did. It is common for dog bites to take 6 months to 1 year to fully heal and we do still have a long road ahead of us to full recovery. We ask that everyone please continue to pray for our family and again, your help means so much to us.