In January 2016, a 7-year-old boy who lived in Robeson County, North Carolina was attacked and killed by a pit bull.
Talan West and his three siblings were playing in a field behind their house when a group of dogs attacked them. The victim's older brother, Jaylan, claimed they ran through the field to get to their home for safety. Jaylan jumped onto a car to escape the dogs, but his brother could not get away. He stated that one dog attacked Talan's right leg and another dog attacked his left leg while a third dog gnawed his face. One of the dogs fatally broke Talan's neck off.
The pit bull died on the scene as well, allegedly due to over excitement. Its owners have not been charged.
Both boys were rushed to the hospital, Jaylan survived, but Talan did not. Jaylan received nine stitches in his calf, which was torn during the attack.
William Smith of the Robeson County Health Department reminded folks that a dog’s actions can be unpredictable. If you are being attacked by a dog, you should try not to get pulled down.
Here are a few suggestions for how to respond if an aggressive dog approaches you:
- Remain calm. A dog will expect you to kick it and act afraid. But if you remain calm, this will help calm down the dog.
- Do not make direct eye contact with the dog. Direct eye contact might be interpreted as a sign of aggression and dominance.
- Make yourself seem bigger than the dog. Placing an item you may have in your hand in front of you. If you are not holding any items, use your calm assertiveness to maintain control of the situation. By doing this you are letting the dog know you are not afraid and it is more likely to respect you.
Here are several more tips about preventing a dog attack.
If you are bitten, wash your wounds. For some folks, wounds might not seem serious at first. However, one of the more common complications with dog bites are infections. Almost 1 in 5 dog bites become infected during the days following an attack. Seek medical treatment immediately and follow all physician-prescribed treatments to help prevent or minimize risk of infection.