GARLAND, Texas - Garland Animal Control put down a pit bull that had been well-known in a neighborhood.
Residents say they had complained about the dog multiple times in the past. And over the weekend, it attacked a 10-year-old boy.
The young boy was taken to Cook Children's Hospital after the attack Saturday with several bites on his upper body.
The owners turned the pit bull over to animal control, and the dog was euthanized for rabies testing. Despite multiple calls to animal control, neighbors don't think animal control did enough to prevent this.
10-year old Jowell Boyer has scratches and bites all over his body and staples on the back of his head.
Jowell was playing in this back alley with his twin sister while their dad was working inside the house when the dog came out from under the fence and straight for them. His sister ran to a nearby dumpster to get away.
“She jumped in and laid down as far as she could,” Jowell recalled.
But he didn't make it that far. Jowell says the dog went straight for him, tackling him to the ground.
“The dog was biting me, swinging my head, on my neck,” he said. “I was thinking I was going to die or something. But I was very, very scared when that happened.”
The 10-year-old says he got free and started kicking the dog before the owner intervened, calling the dog back to the house.
But neighbors say the problem was a long time coming. They had called animal control multiple times before complaining the dog was behaving aggressively and once running loose.
“I kid you not, it took four leaps for him to get over here,” said neighbor Olivia Hernandez. “And I mean he charges the fence hard.”
Garland Animal Control says they responded to complaints about the same pit bull five times since last November and cited the owners for failing to register the dog. They also gave them a 30-day deadline to put up a six-foot fence to replace the chain link fence a neighbor photographed before Saturday's attack.
“Each time we went out there, we never observed the dog running at large,” said Jason Chessher with the city of Garland. “So there's no option for enforcement unless our officers observe a violation.”
City officials say they did what they could according to the policies in place.
“We work at least one bite a day, 350 to 400 bites a year,” Chessher explained. “It would be nice to prevent all of those, but we simply can't.”
But for Jowell’s family, that answer is not enough.
“There's proof right here they did not do enough,” said Rick Boyer, Jowell’s father. “That is an unacceptable answer.”
The boy’s family plans to pursue a lawsuit against the dog's owners and the city. They also said they want to pursue charges.
Garland police are investigating but no charges have been filed.