Fayetteville toddler recovering after being attacked by family dog

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Fayetteville toddler is recovering at UNC Medical Center after being attacked by a family dog Wednesday night.

The patient is listed in stable condition. The boy’s grandma says they’re hoping to have him back home in a few days.

The dog was euthanized at Cumberland County Animal Control Thursday.

Director Elaine Smith says the 8-year-old pit bull mix attacked the one-year-old boy while chained up in his grandma’s yard.

“During the attack the chain of the dog did become wound around the child’s neck, we’ve heard that second hand from the witness and the grandmother,” Smith said. 

Smith says the dog also bit a different child in the same yard in 2017, but was not deemed dangerous by animal control because that child wasn’t supposed to be on the property.

“In that case the dog was not deemed potentially dangerous at that time due to the circumstances,” Smith said. “This was the case where an unrelated child went into the backyard without permission and was bitten.”

Smith says each case is looked at on an individual basis.

“In this case it’s a horrible tragedy, it’s hard to look at and not think what could have been done to prevent it.”

In the latest case, Smith says the boy’s grandma was watching him and other children in the yard when she stepped away for a moment. She says the boy was attacked when he approached the chained up dog.  

“We really recommend anybody in that circumstance should never tether even if they’re right out there, they should have the dog behind the barrier so that a child can’t access the animal.” 

Smith emphasized the importance of keeping a close eye on dogs of any size and breed when they’re around children.  

“It really does not matter the size or the breed of the dog, pets and children must be very closely supervised.”

Both Fayetteville police and animal control tell us no charges are expected to be filed in this case. 

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