Dog attacks 4-year-old in Sampson County

NEWTON GROVE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 4-year-old Newton Grove boy was given a hundred stitches after a German Shepherd mix went after him on Monday.

The family is concerned for their child's safety, because the animal has not been taken into custody and is still in its owner's yard.

ABC11 met Jason O'Brien after his latest doctor's appointment. His eye is basically swollen shut, some of his teeth are loose, and there are stitches on his head and down his cheek.

"He jumped on me," said Jason.

"I had to follow his screams to the back porch where he was trying to get into the door," said Jason's father, Chris O'Brien. "As I scooped down to pick him up, his cheek had come open."

Dad is angry the dog's owner, Stephen Brown, has only been written a citation and the dog hasn't been euthanized.

"The animal's still here, gave it back to the owners," said Chris.

Brown tells ABC11 he is deeply sorry about what happened to the child. He admitted the dog was roaming around without a leash, which is a violation of a Sampson County ordinance.

Brown will ultimately decide if the dog will be put down. If he decides to keep the dog, there will be strict requirements.

A new gate would have to be built that would have concrete bottom and four solid sides.

Animal control says the dog is currently being quarantined to see if it shows any signs of rabies, but they cannot legally force the owner to have the dog put down.

"We get that frustration as well. We see it because your biggest concern is 'I don't want this to happen again,'" said Sgt. Jessica Kittrell from Animal Control.

Dad's also worried what could happen next.

"Once a dog had tasted blood or has done this, it's going to do it again. It's just a matter of time," said Chris.

Brown did not tell ABC11 what he plans to do about the dog.

Animal Control will be doing periodic checks on the dog to make sure that he is locked up at all times.

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