Nine-year-old attacked by dogs released from hospital, dog owner arrested
LAWRENCE Co., Ala. (WAFF) - Gavin Peoples sustained over 30 lacerations from a pack of five dogs that attacked him while he was riding his bike down County Road 582 in Lawrence County Saturday.
Due to the attack, Gavin was forced to undergo a four-hour surgery. His mother, Stephanie Overton says he’s running a low-grade fever while doctors try to manage his pain.
“From what we understand it was through the muscle, almost to bone, on the left bicep, the left thigh, and the left calf,” Overton said. “And then he has a large wound to the back of his left shoulder.”
Stephanie says the people who own the dogs have never felt the need to keep their dogs restrained. She says one of the co-owners released the dogs while she was away from the home.
“We’ve complained numerous times about them coming at our kids when they’re riding bikes,” she continued. “One of them had actually grabbed my daughter’s bike and nearly missed her foot at one point. And we’ve told them but nothing was ever done.”
On Tuesday Overton shared on Facebook that Gavin is still having pains in his left arm but he is still going strong. In a video Overton posted shows Gavin and his strength as he walks alongside her husband Elvis Overton.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying the owner is currently in the Lawrence County Jail on unrelated charges. However, charges from this incident could soon be coming.
“The Sheriff’s department is taking over and they’re going to press charges. And take all the legal action,” Stephanie explained. “The investigators called us today to check on Gavin and they’re going to do an investigation. They’re going to go back Monday and then they’re going to call us with all the legal options and charges they feel like need to be pressed.”
On Wednesday, the LCSO arrested Tanya Lynne Emery, 36 for violation of Emily’s Law, code 3-6A-5(B) when a dangerous dog is unjustified, attacks, and causes serious physical injury. Emery was booked into the Lawrence County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
James Champion is the man who potentially saved Gavin’s life, freeing him from the pack and tending to him before first responders arrived. Now, Stephanie doesn’t know how she could ever repay him.
“I just can’t thank James enough for being there. I was just telling him I wish there was something we could do to tell him thank you. Because had it not been for him, I might not have Gavin still.”
The dogs involved in the attack were euthanized on the scene.
On Thursday, Gavin was released from the hospital and was showered with admiration and support from his nurses, neighbors and classmates.
In a Facebook post made by Overton, she says she is happy to have Gavin back but thinks her other children are more excited.
“Yesterday afternoon was filled with lots of smiles. He is so happy to be home. His brothers and sisters are loving getting to help him walk around. They argue over who gets to take care of him,” Overton’s post read. “He is taking more steps but complains a lot with his back. We are able to talk him into moving his left arm an inch or 2 but we will take it.”
To cover Gavin’s medical bills, a GoFundMe page was created as of Friday afternoon it is at $750.
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