Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ten-Year-Old Attacked by Neighbor's Pit Bulls

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ten-Year-Old Attacked by Neighbor's Pit Bulls

Article excerpt

Ten-year-old Mark McAninch Jr. of Callahan said he was sure he

was going to die Thursday when a neighbor's three pit bulls

attacked him and tore up his arm so badly that it required more

than 100 stitches to repair.

"I was on the ground, and I figured I was going to die so I

tried to fight them off," Mark said as he sat in a wheelchair in

the lobby of University Medical Center yesterday. "My arm was

all messed up so I kicked at them."

Mark said he was walking from his rural home to a bus stop

about 7 a.m. Thursday when the three dogs attacked without

provocation, pulling him to the ground and biting him numerous

times during the five-minute ordeal.

The boy was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and

is expected to make a full recovery. Doctors and a plastic

surgeon operated for about two hours Thursday on his arm and

face, said Naveed Ismail, surgery resident at University.

Mark's right arm has several long, deep cuts and punctures from

the dogs, including angled punctures that cut through the arm,

Ismail said. He also had a few punctures on the left side of his

face and one cut on his left arm, Ismail said.

He needed between 50 and 75 stitches to close the wounds, some

of which cut into muscle. Some of the muscle ends had to be

repaired, and a plastic surgeon helped mend the wounds on the

boy's face, Ismail said.

Ismail said the boy was lucky not to have more serious

injuries. "He was very lucky the bites didn't get any of the

major arteries of the arm and also did not get any of the

nerves," the doctor said.

Mark's grandmother, Doris McAninch, said she was amazed the boy

was able to fight off the dogs and run home. "He must have been

in a state of shock for a 10-year-old to be able to do what he

did," she said.

The dogs' owners, who are friends of the victim and his family,

said they shared their grief.

"If there was anything I could do to prevent it, I would," said

Phyllis Hamby, who lives about 100 yards from Mark's home in the

3100 block of Dorsey Place. "If we would've known they would

have bitten someone, my husband would have shot them himself."

Hamby was cited by Nassau County Animal Care and Control for

failing to properly restrain the animals and may have to pay

more than $1,000 in fines.

She said she gave up the dogs -- Marcel, Sassy and Patches --

and has requested they be destroyed. But they first must be

quarantined to determine if they have rabies.

While there are about eight reported animal bites or scratches

in Duval County each day, very few reports involve pit bulls,

said Scott Heston of the Duval County Public Health Unit's

rabies control department.

The most common biter by species, he said, is the chow. …

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