A family in Fishers is looking for someone to take action after their 8-year-old boy was viciously attacked by at least one dog earlier this month.
Kaiden Sullivan, 8, of Fishers, was on his way home from playing with friends August 12 and while walking through a neighbor's yard at least one dog attacked him.
“We find our son covered in blood," the boy's father, Rusty Sullivan, said. “It was scary severe. Like it’s one of those things you actually see on TV and say ‘Oh my gosh,’ how did that happen?”
Kaiden had scratches to his neck, arms, forehead, chest and chin. The worst damage came to his rear end where the family estimates several gashes were about an inch deep.
"Flesh hanging," Sullivan said. "It was just really nasty looking.”
The family rushed the boy to the hospital and immediately filed a police report.
However, there are several discrepancies in the police report. The owner of the dogs told police she pulled two of her BOXERS off the boy during the attack, according to the report. Another witness said she saw only one dog attacking the boy.
Regardless of the discrepancies, the Sullivan family hoped law enforcement officers would take action and remove the dogs from the neighborhood, but the police's hands were tied.
In Hamilton County, a dog must have two dog bites on file for animal control to take a family's dog away from them, according to the Sullivans. In this case, neither dog had another "bite" on file. Sullivan said this case was much more than a bite and would like to see the ordinance changed to reflect the difference between a bite and attack.
“There needs to be some sort of a definition that clearly says there’s a difference between a dog bite and dog attack, because they are not the same things at all,” he said.
After exhausting efforts with police, the family turned to the homeowners association for help to remove the dogs in question from the neighborhood. The Sullivans had previously received a letter about their dogs' barking and stated the letter said the dogs could be removed from the neighborhood if they were a nuisance.
However, the homeowners association also refused to remove the dogs from the neighborhood citing discrepancies in the police report, the Sullivans said.
“I can’t imagine what the homeowners association is thinking," Sullivan said. "It befuddles me, because clearly they have the right to enforce that covenant and they chose not to."
Neither the owners of the dogs or the homeowners association responded to request for interviews or information related to this story.
The Sullivans and their neighbors are now working with Fishers City Council members to see they can get the wording changed in the county's dog ordinance to better reflect the difference between a bite and an attack.