GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A 7-year-old Gaston boy is recovering from severe dog bites.
“I keep this bat beside my door for protection because I’m not a fan of guns,” his mother Stacie said.
It came in handy when man’s best friend turned into her son Bryson’s worst enemy.
Bryson hopped off of the school bus and over a fence to play with one of the neighbors kids. It is something Stacie said he does all the time.
But that day was different.
“He makes it to the top of the fence and jumps the fence like always, and as soon as his feet hit the ground, the dog attacked,” Stacie explained.
Hearing his screams, she grabbed the bat and ran, hitting the dog once to release her son from its stronghold. “Seeing him looking up at me screaming, covered in blood. It was the worst nightmare you could possibly think of.”
Covered in blood, Bryson rushed to the hospital. He received more than 300 stitches and miraculously survived the vicious attack.
In 2016, 31 people died of dog bites across the U.S., and 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, most of them children.
“We see spikes in the summer time when it’s warm out,” said Dr. Kristine Blankenship with Gaston County Animal Care and Control.
She said most dog bites are from dogs you are familiar with.
But according to dogsbite.org there are ways kids can protect themselves.
-If dog approaches stay still. Don’t run or yell.
-Ask the owner before you pet.
-If you see a dog behind a fence leave it alone, never try to pet it through or over fence.
-Even if a dog is wagging its tail it may not be friendly.
The dog’s owner says they’ve repeatedly told Bryson not to climb over the fence because the dog, which is a boxer mix, can be aggressive.
They said they voluntarily gave the dog to animal care and control where it is under quarantine.
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