A six-year-old boy from Midland, North Carolina had to undergo surgery on Wednesday, February 6 due to the personal injuries he received from being attacked by a Rottweiler during a family visit to a neighbor’s house, authorities said.
Authorities and residents are now attempting to track down the owner of the dog.
The dog was chained in the backyard of the neighbors’ house because they had been asked to watch the 3- or 4-year-old pet. However, according to Captain Phillip Patterson of the Sheriff’s Office of Cabarrus County, they haven’t heard from the owner in five months. He said that the couple was trying to get rid of the dog since they couldn’t get in contact with the owner.
According to Patterson, the incident occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m. at the home of Jimmy and Carol Smith as they were celebrating Jimmy Smith’s birthday. Two children played in the backyard while the adults were inside the house.
According to Patterson, one of the children came too close to the dog and was bitten on the face, neck, and leg.
The dog was shot and killed by Jimmy Smith before deputies arrived, said Patterson. The boy was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast for treatment and remained in surgery for much of the evening.
According to Patterson, the dog was properly chained and had a shelter provided for it by the Smiths.
The dog was taken by the authorities for rabies testing.
On February 8, 2008, the News and Observer published an editorial urging the enactment of tougher dog control laws, writing:
"An increasingly urban state, in other words, could use some updating of its dog laws. Lawmakers need to consider standardizing the definition of 'dangerous' and 'aggressive' dogs, and make sure bite victims have a fair chance to recover expenses for medical care."
North Carolina does need tougher dog control laws. However, even under existing North Carolina law, it is possible for victims of negligence to recover for personal injuries caused by dog bites.