Wake County

Toddler critically injured in dog attack

Police say a 21-month-old boy Friday wandered into the backyard of an East Raleigh home where he was attacked by one or two Rottweiler dogs.

A neighbor was inside his house when he heard what he thought were two dogs fighting. When he went out, he saw the boy being taken inside.

“The child was wrapped in a blue blanket,” said Nick Lawrence, a 16-year-old 11th-grader at Enloe High School who lives next door to the home on Euston Street, where the attack occurred.

“The child’s mother was on the phone with 911. I heard her saying, ‘My child’s face, oh my God,’” Lawrence said late Friday afternoon.

The baby suffered injuries that are considered life-threatening, Jim Sughrue, a Raleigh police spokesman, reported Friday afternoon.

The boy was attacked shortly after 10 a.m. He was visiting the Euston Street home from out of town with his parents. The parents of the boy and the family they were visiting each had a dog. The animals were in the backyard, Sughrue reported.

Investigators say the child managed to leave the house unnoticed and entered the backyard, where he was attacked by at least one of the dogs.

Emergency workers rushed the boy to WakeMed in Raleigh and later to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill for treatment of critical injuries, Sughrue reported.

No charges have been filed, and none are anticipated.

The owners of both dogs have relinquished custody of the animals. Animal control officers transported the dogs to the Wake County Animal Center, where they will be euthanized.

Lawrence said the family moved in next door with their Rottweiler about a year ago.

The teen said both dogs were “huge” and “bigger than normal Rottweilers.”

“They were both three feet high from the back.”

Lawrence added that it was not unusual for him to be awakened before dawn by the dog barking.

“It echoed,” he said.