(WFLA) - Local 3-year-old Payton Church is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after his mom says he was attacked by a PIT BULL in Clearwater last week.
"You give birth to a perfect kid and to have a dog maul his face and my son will have scars for the rest of his life from this," said Mersadis Tuttle, Payton's mother.
Tuttle tells News Channel 8 her son was with his grandmother last Wednesday when it happened. The two were sitting on a bench, eating lunch in front of a food bank on South Myrtle Avenue and Druid Road. The child went to throw away trash when the grandmother said a medium-sized pit bull came up to the child.
"The dog approached my son, licked him and snapped him in the face at the same instance," Tuttle said.
The dog's owner did not have the dog on a leash.
"He was by his owner, but not in the hands of his owner."
The grandmother asked a witness to dial 911 while she rushed the child to the nearest hospital - Morton Plant ER. Payton received 11 stitches.
According to Tuttle, the witness never called police and the dog and owner disappeared. She filed a police report Saturday after leaving the hospital.
"We have absolutely no information on him or the dog. We don't know if he had shots. We don't know really anything at this point about them or why they left," Tuttle said. "It is very disappointing that as an owner, you would just leave like that. It is your responsibility to maintain that dog and his actions just like it is mine as a parent for my children."
Unfortunately, Payton had to return to the emergency room after his wounds became infected. He is currently in the ICU at Tampa General Hospital.
Tuttle is asking anyone with any information on the dog and it's owner to contact authorities.
She's also warning others in the area to stay cautious.
"What's going to happen when another kid is minding his business and this dog isn't on a leash?" she said.