8-year-old suffers 22 wounds in dog attack

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GRATIOT COUNTY – An 8-year-old boy from Riverdale was flown to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Monday after state police say he suffered 22 bite wounds following an attack by four Rottweiler dogs.

Investigators say the attack happened in the back yard of a home in Seville Township around 5:10 p.m.  The child, who state police learned is familiar with the dogs, was attacked while coming over to visit his step-grandmother.

The dogs were in a fenced area in the back yard when state police say one started barking at him, followed by another dog knocking him down and all four dogs attacking.

A 46-year-old man from Crystal, who was working at a nearby construction site, heard the child’s screams for help and responded.  The worker jumped the fence to get into the back yard and pulled the child into the house during the attack.

Investigators say the dogs tried to pull the child from the worker’s grasp, continuing into the house after them.  The worker put the child in a room and shut the door so the dogs couldn’t attack further and called police.

The 8-year-old was first taken to the Mid Michigan Medical Center for treatment, later flown to Grand Rapids.  State police say the child has since been released.

The four dogs were taken into custody by the Gratiot County Animal Control without incident as the investigation continues.

The complaint will be reviewed by the Gratiot County Prosecutor’s Office upon completion.

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  • Christy

    What does anyone need with 4 Rotweillers? Is this a back yard breeder? Even if you owned just 1 Rotweiller, you are taking a pretty big risk because this breed has killed a lot of people. You may think it’s all in how they are raised, but you aren’t gonna be there 24/7 365 days a year to control that dog and it will act in it’s very high natural instincts to guard. There are lots of safer breeds to choose from so why take the risk?



  • Ponder Loudly

    It’s surprising that animal controls and their municipalities are not facing class-action lawsuits for failing to protect the public. Nationally and locally dog attacks occur on a daily basis.

    The safety of communities across the nation is being threatened by a system that fails to be pro-active, definitive, and consistent in handling of dog attacks. In regards to this, the effectiveness of municipal services is questionable at best, failing at worst, and without a doubt—not pro-active.

    We need:

    1. Stricter legislation, and criminal prosecution in serious cases with gross negligence. A person
    being mauled severely or killed is no small matter, and currently legislation does not align with the severity of such cases.  In some cases it’s literally getting away with “man-slaughter.”

    2. Mandatory liability insurance for owners of large and powerful dog breeds. Most victims
    are left to fend for themselves financially and emotionally after an attack—that is the current reality. This is simply horrible and completely preventable with insurance. We have it for driving cars, we need it for dog ownership.

    3. Mandatory euthanization of dogs that kill or maul a human being, or kill another domesticated animal. This type of unbridled aggressiveness puts the public at immediate risk.

    4. Pittbulls and Guard-dog breeds must be muzzled at all times when in public areas. If these types of dogs gets loose, as often is the case in almost all attacks, the public must be protected.

    Write your Governors and Senators, and ask them to protect our families and children.

  • Ashley

    These are my uncles dogs. The kids were told specifically not to come over because my grandma was mowing someones yard. On top of it the kids were being watched by a 14 year old bc the parents were gone. The child’s father told my grandma that their dog had been peeing on the child’s clothes. The dogs tried to take his clothes off! If his mother were to wash there clothes maybe this would not have happened. There is a giant fence for a reason to keep ppl out who are not supposed to be there. If Ethans mother takes care of these kids likes she takes care of her animals then maybe they should be taken away! The women even has a horse in the yard with no barn to go into I watched it get poured on the other Day! On top of that the horse is fenced in with the back yard where the kids play. So one kids get bit by dogs and soon another will probably die if it gets kicked by the horse. Bad parenting!

    • lee77

      @Ashley: Unless your “uncle” drives a dog-cart, he doesn’t need four Rottweilers! If what you say about Ethan’s parents is true, why don’t you report them to DHS?