Fifteen stitches later, the family of 10-year-old Taylor Dowdy says he's lucky, it could have been much worse.
Officer Darrin Gilmore with the Cedar Grove Police Department responded to the trailer park at 2335 Douglas Road off East Avenue at 11:15 Monday morning.
"Him and another young man said they were playing baseball in their backyard when the neighbors’ pit bull come along and attacked him, an unprovoked attack."
Fourteen-year-old Christopher Cureton was playing with Dowdy in the backyard when the dog bit his friend.
"We were just playing in the backyard and the dog started attacking Taylor, my friend, just jumped on his shoulder, jumped on his back."
Officer Gilmore says the bites were severe enough to transport the boy to the hospital.
"They were all puncture wounds, all three bites were punctures. One of them was pretty severe, probably required stitches."
Officer Gilmore says the owner, Charles Mitchell, agreed to hand over custody of the dog to the Humane Society. The dog will remain in isolation for ten days to ensure it does not have rabies.
“The owner, he wants the dog but he doesn't, he's not going to put up with a dog that's going to bite people. Ultimately, he is responsible for medical bills incurred for his dog biting someone.”
Dowdy's mother, Brenda Wallace, told NewsChannel Seven her son is home from the hospital and the entire family is just thankful he's alive.
Officer Gilmore says parents should be aware of dogs in the neighborhood and talk to your child about animal safety. He suggests telling a child to fight, run away and yell for help if a dog is attacking them.
Dog Attack Statistics
- 4.7 million dog bites are reported in the U.S. annually
- 800,000 dog bites require medical attention each year
- Reported dog bites have increased 37 percent since 1990
- For every dog bite fatality, there are 670 hospitalizations
- Children are the most frequent victims
- Children are most frequently bitten in the face and neck area
- Boys ages five to nine are bitten most frequently
- 334,000 dog bites require emergency room visits
- Dog attacks cost society about $1 billion each year
- Insurance companies pay about $250 million each year in dog bite case claims
- State Farm Insurance alone processes more than 14,000 dog bite claims each year
- More than 7,000 U.S. Postal carriers report being bit by a dog each year
Sources: drklein.net contributed to this report