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5-year-old boy recovering after being attacked by dog at babysitter’s home

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 8:56 AM EDT
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WALBRIDGE, Ohio (WTVG) - A 5-year-old boy from Walbridge is recovering from injuries after he was mauled by a dog at a babysitter’s house.

Tristin Pruitt, who is pregnant, dropped Liam and his brother off with a new babysitter while she went to a doctor’s appointment.

“I just reached out and asked if she could watch him for a couple of hours while I went to an ultrasound appointment,” Pruitt said.

Shortly after she dropped him off, Pruitt said she got a phone call from the babysitter, saying Liam was attacked by their dog.

“She said that Liam and her daughter were playing outside, and her husband took the dog out of the kennel and said, ‘Liam, I want to introduce you to my dog,” Pruitt said. “And while her husband was holding onto the dog, it leaped and started mauling him.”

Liam suffered several bites to his face. He said he was scared, and Pruitt said, “his whole face was just ripped apart.”

Liam needed to stay overnight at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Doctors used four rolls of sutures but lost count of how many stitches he needed.

The Center for Disease Control reports there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites every year in the US, with 77 percent of the biting dogs belong to the victim’s family or friend.

“The number one cause of incidents like this is lack of supervision,” said certified dog trainer John Brown.

Brown, who works with “Let’s Train” in Toledo, said understanding K-9 body language can help prevent attacks, along with teaching children how to interact with unfamiliar dogs.

“A lot of kids think dogs are stuffed animals and want to hug and kiss them, but that’s a big cause of bites to the face,” said Brown. “Even if your child can hug and kiss your dog all day long, they may go over to a friend or babysitter and their dog may not tolerate it.”

The dog who attacked Liam was euthanized. Pruitt said she knew the babysitter but wishes she would have asked more questions.

“I didn’t ask if she had a dog, I didn’t ask her to put the dog away,” Pruitt said.

Now, she hopes that what happened to her son will serve as a warning to other parents and babysitters to not do the same.

A GoFundMe account has been created to help cover Liam’s medical expenses. Click HERE to donate.

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