A 4-year-old Rockland County boy, who was severely mauled in a dog bite attack, is looking at skin graft surgery to fix the injuries, as well as surgery to fox his ear. Nathaniel Stafford was attacked by a Labrador-pit bull mix that his family had been looking after for its owner. His mother found the boy with his head gripped in the dog’s mouth. The pit bull mix was shaking him violently. The boy’s mother pulled him away, and suffered a bite on her arm in the process.
By the time the terrifying ordeal had ended, much of Nathaniel’s scalp had been ripped apart and his ear had been torn off. His stepfather picked up the ear, and put it in a bag to reattach in the hospital. The doctors have not been able to confirm whether they will be reattaching his ear, or if he will need to have a prosthetic ear attached.
Nathaniel is bound to be traumatized after the dog bite attack. Beside the serious head injuries and the mutilated ear, the boy also suffered throat lacerations. He is an animal lover, although how he will react to any dog from here on, is debatable. The dog’s owner meanwhile has agreed to have the dog which is currently being held in quarantine at an animal shelter, put down.
Some breeds of dogs seem to be more aggressive than others, although pit bull lovers will tell you that such allegations are an attempt to tar their reputation. Whatever the breed, owners are required to keep such dogs safely secured so they don’t pose a threat to other people. In Nathaniel’s case, the family had been keeping the dog for a month for the dog’s owners. There is no information yet on whether the dog has been involved in such attacks earlier.
Several cities in Georgia have enacted stronger legislation to prevent the incidents of dangerous attacks. The Leesburg City council has introduced legislation that will mark dogs that attack other domestic animals as dangerous. Owners will be required to register their dogs if they bite other domesticated animals.
As Georgia dog bite lawyers, we think more could be done to make the state’s laws capable of protecting innocent victims. Current state laws in Georgia will only declare a dog as vicious when at least two separate bite attacks have taken place. As we see in little Nathaniel’s case, a single attack can leave you with a lifetime of gruesome memories.