Boy hospitalized after dog attack

Published 11:52 am Thursday, May 20, 2010

An 11-year-old Maplesville boy was airlifted to the hospital after being attacked by a neighbor’s dog Wednesday evening.

The boy’s injuries were serious but did not appear to be life threatening, Maplesville Police Chief Todd Ingram said.

The dog, which Ingram described as a Boxer/bull mastiff mix, bit the boy about the throat, exposing his windpipe, and so emergency personnel on the scene wanted to get him to the hospital as quickly as possible.

“It came close to his jugular, and he might have bled out,” Ingram said. “They didn’t want to take the chance of putting him in an ambulance and riding him all the way to the hospital.”

The attack happened about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the 400 block of Mulberry Street in Maplesville.

Ingram said charges will probably not be filed because the dog was not “running at large.”

The story gathered by responders to the scene is the victim was playing with friends when their ball went into the dog’s pen. After retrieving the ball, one of the boys left open both the gate to the dog’s pen and the gate to the surrounding fenced-in yard.

The dog was at first friendly, playing with the boys for several minutes, but became aggressive and attacked the boy when the dog’s owner arrived home, witnesses told police.

The dog’s owner pulled the dog off the boy and had his hand mangled in the process, Ingram said.

Police arriving on the scene shot and killed the dog, which will be tested for rabies.

Ingram said he spoke to the boy’s mother Thursday and that the boy would likely be kept at Children’s Hospital until Friday to make sure no nerve or windpipe damage occurred.