7-year-old attacked, dragged by dog before neighbor saves him
PARKER COUNTY, Texas (Gray News) - A 7-year-old Texas boy who was severely injured in a dog attack is slowly recovering.
Conner Landers, 7, got off his school bus in late January and was walking home when he was attacked by a neighbor’s dog, according to a news release from the Parker County Sheriff’s Office. The dog is described as a boxer-bullmastiff mix that escaped a fenced yard and attacked the boy for unknown reasons.
A neighbor witnessed the attack on the street in front of her home and tried to stop it, but deputies say the dog moved toward her, forcing her back. The dog then began to drag Conner down the street, and the neighbor ran to help, freeing him by hitting the dog with a stick.
Conner was taken to the hospital, where his mother, Cassandra Ware, says he spent several days. She says the 7-year-old suffered numerous lacerations to his face and arms, puncture wounds to his scalp and neck and multiple bruises on his chest and legs.
“He underwent more than three hours of surgery to repair nerve damage to his face and to close more than two dozen lacerations [on] his face, head and body,” Ware said. “The doctors anticipate he will need several more surgeries to repair additional nerve damage to his face and to repair his tear duct.”
Conner will also need physical therapy to regain the use of his arm and learn to write again, his mother says.
But she’s grateful her son is alive, saying the hospital staff credited the neighbor who intervened in what she calls a “mauling” with saving Conner’s life.
Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler initiated a fundraising effort to help with Conner’s medical bills and continued treatment. She set up an account for the boy at Plains Capital Bank in Weatherford, where people can call to contribute to the fund.
“We just wanted to do something to help Conner on his long road to recovery,” Kessler said.
Conner’s neighbor received $500 as thanks for saving Conner from the Sheriff’s Office Animal Control officers.
“We commend Conner’s neighbor for her bravery and quick actions in saving him,” Sheriff Russ Authier said. “We are praying for Conner to make a full recovery.”
The dog that attacked Conner was humanely euthanized due to the severity of the attack. Testing found it did not have rabies.
The dog’s owner, identified as 49-year-old Patti Jean Bell-Neveling, was arrested Monday on a third-degree felony charge of attack by dog resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the sheriff’s office. Her bond has not been set.
The case remains under active investigation.
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