Athens-Clarke County police reported that an officer on Tuesday shot and killed a dog that attacked him after it mauled a 10-year-old boy.
The dog was described by police as a pit bull owned by the boy’s family.
Police responded to the victim’s home in the 400 block of Nellie B Avenue at 9:46 p.m. after receiving a report of the attack. They were met by a 14-year-old boy who said his younger brother had been bitten in the face by their dog, according to police.
“(He) was visibly upset about what just happened and expressed his desire for the dog to die,” according to a police incident report.
When the victim approached officers, he was in a lot of pain and holding a towel to his jaw area.
“I observed a large laceration from the corner of his lip to the bottom of his jaw,” an officer wrote in the report. “It appeared part of the area was bitten off.”
The boy’s family members told the officers that the dog was in its cage with the door open, police said, at which time the officers moved them to the end of their driveway to put distance between them and the dog.
Emergency medical workers then arrived and one of the responders told officers he wanted to search for the missing piece of the boy’s face. He was told to wait for animal control officers to arrive so that they could secure the dog, police said.
In the meantime, the dog left its cage and began walking toward the officers, the victim and his family members, according to police.
One officer tried to push the dog away with his baton, but the dog bit it and caused the officer to drop it, police said.
As the officer retreated from the dog, the animal jumped and bit him in the arm, police said.
As the dog was biting, the officer he drew his pistol and shot it several times, killing it, according to police.
Police said the missing piece of the boy’s face could not be found. The boy was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The bitten officer was treated at the scene by National EMS personnel, but police said he later drove himself to the hospital.
The victim’s stepfather gave an account of what happened when later interviewed by police.
He said he was outside watering trees on his property while the victim was playing with the family’s dogs on the front porch, according to police.
When one of the dogs bit the victim in the face and would not let go, the stepfather said he struck the animal with a stick. It eventually released the boy and ran into its cage.
The man told police he believed the dogs may have recently been mating.