NEWTON GROVE — Sampson Sheriff’s authorities are investigating a reported canine attack that severely injured a toddler in the northern end of the county Thursday.
Around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, deputies responded to 4130 Penny Tew Mill Road, Newton Grove, along with Sampson County EMS, in reference to a toddler that had been attacked by a dog. Upon arrival, deputies discovered a 3-year-old boy with trauma wounds to the face, neck and legs, and immediately started providing first aid.
Sampson County EMS arrived a short time later and transported the child to Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, where the boy’s condition was not immediately known Friday. The name of the child is being withheld and will not be released, since the child is a minor, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s authorities said, through preliminary investigation, it was determined that the child was staying with aunt Brooke Weeks at her residence. A canine belonging to the aunt’s friend, Justin Strickland, was locked in a separate room. The canine got out of the room and past the aunt when she opened the door, running straight to the room where the toddler was located and attacking the child, reports state.
Weeks struggled with the canine and was eventually able to pull him off the child and get him out of the house.
A responding deputy observed the canine, a white and tan pit bull, with blood on its face at the rear of the residence, according to reports. The deputy fired his sidearm at the canine, missing him, and the canine fled into a heavily wooded area. Deputies immediately patrolled the area in search of the canine, while warning residents in the area about the dog.
Around 6:30 p.m., approximately three hours after authorities initially responded to the Newton Grove residence, a concerned citizen notified the Sheriff’s Office that Strickland, who was not at home during the time of the attack, had located the dog. Deputies made contact with Strickland, and made arrangements for the canine to be quarantined at the Sampson County Animal Shelter.
The incident was still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, with no additional information made available Friday.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.