A 20-month-old from Marion, Ind., is being treated at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health after he was mauled by his neighbor’s two large dogs. The boy’s family believes his older sister may have saved his life.
The two kids had been playing hide and seek in their yard when the little girl told her parents her little brother tried to hide behind a shed but got too close to their neighbor’s fence. There is a big gap beneath it.
“It’s very hard. We just need somebody to step up,” said John Nestleroad, the boy’s father.
His son is being cared for in the hospital’s burn unit because of the extent of the boy’s injuries.
“They were literally holding him under while his mom was trying to pull him out, and if his sister didn’t grab a hold of him, he would have gone completely under the fence into the neighbor’s yard,” said Nestleroad.
“It’s sad when your own backyard is not safe for your kids to play in, and I don’t know what to do next.”
A Marion Police Officer who responded to the scene claims the dogs were displaying, “abnormal, aggressive behaviors.” He also spotted the boys clothing that included “a pair of blue pants along with shoes, a diaper and a yellow and orange sock” in the neighbor’s yard.
“They beat him up and tore him up, but they didn’t break his spirit,” said Jonathan’s father who wants to see the dogs euthanized.
The police investigation is still ongoing. Marion Animal Care and Control officials, who sedated the dogs before taking them into their care, said it will be up to a judge to decide if the dogs can be returned to their owner or if they will be euthanized.
According to a police report, the dog owner, who could not be reached for comment, said he did not know the two dogs’ history. He took them in for a relative.