A 4-year-old boy was being treated for a serious neck injury at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Monday after being bitten by a Rottweiler mix Sunday afternoon.
Jasper Debow Richman was bitten around 4 p.m. Sunday by the dog at 9136 Suffolk Lane, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said. St. Joseph’s officials could not release information on Jasper’s condition Monday, citing privacy laws.
Jasper’s grandmother, Cindy Hice, and her boyfriend, Joseph Plaisted, the dog’s owner, beat the dog with a shovel to stop the attack, the sheriff’s office said. Jasper was in serious condition when he was flown out Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.
On Monday morning, Jasper’s 17-year-old aunt, Sydney Farr, said he was “fighting for his life” at St. Joseph’s, adding that the family had started a prayer circle.
“You just get a bunch of people to pray for him,” she said. “We’ve done it before (for another family member) and it worked.”
Farr spoke outside the home of Jasper’s mother, Brittany Lee Debow, who was unavailable for comment. Debow lives about a mile from Plaisted in the Jasmine Estates community just east of U.S. 19.
People who answered the door at Plaisted’s house on Suffolk Lane declined to comment Monday morning.
After Jasper was flown to St. Joseph’s, Pasco Animal Control seized the dog, which was put under a 10-day rabies quarantine, the sheriff’s office said. Once the quarantine is complete, Plaisted can decide if he wants to keep it, investigators said.
Farr, Jasper’s aunt, said she is unfamiliar with the dog.
“I just know the breed,” she said.