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6-year-old mauled to death by pit bull

MOUNTAIN HOME--A 6- year-old boy was mauled to death by a pit bull on Tuesday afternoon after the child climbed fence to visit a playmate, the Henderson County Sheriff's office said.


Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at 4:17 p.m. involving the attack at 163 Piney Ridge Drive in Mountain Home.

"The child was dead when we got there" said Sheriff's Office Maj. Frank Stout. "We had to shoot and kill the dog to get to the child with medical personnel. You had a 6-year-old and the people who own the dog have a 6-year-old they played together a lot."

The boy's mother told a 911 dispatcher that she saw her son in the fenced yard when she came outside.

“Our child is in the neighbor’s yard," she said. "I can’t get to him. I was in the house."

The dispatcher stayed on the phone with the mother for seven minutes until EMS, sheriff's deputies and animal control officers arrived at the house.

It has been “maybe five minutes, 10 minutes tops" since she had seen her son. "He’s not breathing. I don’t think he’s breathing at all. The dog’s in the backyard."

She told the dispatcher she had not heard anything.

Although the investigation is ongoing, there is no indication that the dog had been aggresive with children or other dogs. The dog's owners were not at home when the attack occurred, Stout said.

"The young fellow crossed the fence where the dog was"  Stout said. "What transpired next we may never know. There were no witnesses. Family members have told us the chid regularly crossed the fence back and forth because they were such good friends and playmates."

Adopted from a shelter in another county about 3 weeks ago, the pit bull was about a year old, Stout said.

"It's just a very tragic situation for both families that are going to have to live with this."