POLK COUNTY FL - A DOG SAID TO BE AN "AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD MIX" ATTACKED A YOUNG BOY CAUSING SERIOUS INJURIES TO HIS FACE ARM AND LEG
(WFLA) – A young boy is undergoing surgery after being mauled by his neighbor’s dog. The boy was bitten on his face, arm and leg. The vicious attack happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home in Polk County near the Hillsborough County line.
Neighbors say the boy, Jeremiah, is 4 or 5-years-old. The attack brought other neighbors running and some of them were also bitten by the out-of-control dog.
One neighbor, Mandi Land, heard the horrific screams and arrived to find Jeremiah’s mother, Brittany Lane, holding her bleeding son. Land jumped in her car and rushed the boy to a hospital in Plant City.
“God had his hand on us because there was no red lights all the way there so it was great,” she said.
Another neighbor also heard the screams. Debbie Carter arrived to see four people trying to get the 3-year-old AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD MIX, named Bruiser, off Jeremiah.
“When I got to him, it was very difficult to look at him. His face had been mauled greatly, his neck, his arms,” Carter said.
The attack happened in Ernie Haygood’s yard, near a closed gate with signs warning to “beware of the dog.” He says he had warned people to stay away unless he or the dog’s owner, Michelle, was near.
He tried using a chain to get the dog off Jeremiah but when that didn’t work he says he went to get his gun. He shot the dog with a .223-caliber rifle. “I shot him in the head,” Haygood said. “I stopped him. I didn’t want him biting nobody else.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. They are also waiting for rabies testing to see if the dog was infected.