Toddler hospitalized after dog mauls him in his own yard

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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.


  • Paula

    They should be put down. Any dog that would do that is not trustworthy. It is a sad situation, but I know if it where my dogs I wouldn't want to ever take the chance of it happening again. Glad that the little guy is going to be okay. It could have been so much worse.

    • MaryJane Shanks

      I agree the fence should have been repaired as soon as it was found that it had a hole in it. The whole problem would have been averted.

    • Teresa E-N

      The neighbors tore up the fence that did not belong to them to put in their own poorly made fence. There isnt a dig guard like one should always have especially with a larger dog. DOGs dig. They make bigger and bigger holes and the location of the hole makes it hard to see.

    • Teresa E-N

      Much thanks. We need all the prayer that we can get. The little guy is healing, but it is going to be a long road. He has PT, but cannot put much weight on his legs.

  • pet lover

    the dogs need to be euthanized now that they have had a taste of blood they will not be trust worthy again not only around children but as well adults. but at the same time the fence should have never had a whole in it.

    • Deejay

      You seriously think that because a dog bites a human and draws blood, that it makes them eager to taste blood again? Stop believing everything you read on the interwebz. *smh* Your logic would mean that if a dog bit another dog and tasted it's blood, it would then become a cannibal.

    • Chris

      You're a moron. Please refrain from procreating, because I'd like to see a world where this kind of blatant ignorance doesn't exist. Thank you.

      (If you're wondering, do a Google search and let science enlighten you.)

  • lou

    my question is .. if the child is in a diaper , then the child is much too young to be outside with out adult supervision .. so where was the parents when the child started going over to the side of the fence they KNEW had a hole it and 2 large dogs on the other side … to me the dog was doing there job by protecting there property (teortori) when some one came in there yard .. not the dogs fault the parents wasn't watching there child …

    • candy

      just because the parents weren't outside with the child doesn't mean that he wasn't being watched after all he was playing with his sister and yes kids can get away pretty fast and they are just kids it's not like he knew there was a hole in the fense i have several grandchildren and i would put my own dog down if he was to ever do that or even act like he was going to attack one of them or even an insent.

    • Kara

      Look here, Lou. I have a dog that protects her property very well and with that being said she's not aggressive that she would attack a child and literally pull the child under a fence. Yes, before you ask, she is a big dog. You sitting here defending a dog like this is ludicrous! There are many dogs who protect their territory and are not aggressive as these dogs are being called. Also, before you judge the parents, read the story. The child was playing with his sister and was obviously being watched. Fortunately the mom reached him in time and saved his life. You have no clue and you are being a judge mental person just assuming the parents were not watching. Start putting blame where blame should be placed, with the dog owner. Albeit, if this were ANY of your family members, you would not be spouting off such foolishness.

    • leah

      listen lou thats my cousin so shut your mouth. you don't know the parents so SHUT YOUR FREAKING HOLE. ignorant people. territory*** get it right. back off. stupid people. you do not know the story. get ALL facts not even the news people know the whole story.

      • Good Mother

        i totally under stand, but when you have kids if they go out you go out. Further more its been too cold for children to be out side. now on the dog. put it down there is no dog that can be trusted they are stupid just like horses, no common sence

    • Teresa E-N

      There had never been a problem before. The next door neighbors had removed the permanent that belonged to the property that the parents were renting from and had put in their own fence. Because of the weather, the mud, and the location of the hole, it is not easy to see when doing regular activities in the yard. The dog attacked my husband's shoe and he was 6 inches away from the fence. The child was out side with his sister and he did nothing wrong. And yes it is the dogs fault and the owner of the dogs/home.

    • Marbel

      I agree wit you Lou, these dogs were doing what dogs do, protect what is theirs. These two children (the one "watching over him is FOUR YEARS OLD) should never have been outside unsupervised. I say investigate the bully breed dogs inside the home and don't judge without facts. These dogs never left their property, they did not seek out a child to attack and the comment about dogs tasting human blood are not safe around people again is absolute nonsense!!!

      • Teresa E-N

        Are you the child's mother? NO! and the child with him was EIGHT. You dont know because you obviously believe EVERYTHING you read. Newspapers get things wrong ALL the time. Facts are skewed and the are slow to fix it. So before you go makeing statements, get your facts right or refrain from making an opinion. You are obviously as ignorant as your comment makes you seem.

  • Mary

    If someone has a dog that has violent tendencies, or dogs that (as the owner says) he doesn't know their temperment, then the owner of the dogs should have contained the dogs better, and kept them away from ALL sides of the fences where their yard adjoins others. Things happen, yes, and with a chain link fence, it's not hard to pull something under it, if it is bent somewhat. Children should be allowed to be in their yard, and be allowed to play without fear of being attacked by a neighbors dog. My kids have always been able to be out side playing and I don't have to be RIGHT THERE, as long as the yard is secured. My 4 year old granddaughter is still in a pull-up some times, but she is allowed to be out in my fenced back yard without me being out there. I secure the gates and watch everything from inside my home. The kids were playing hide and seek…it doesn't make the parents bad, and doesn't make the dogs bad, technically, but the dog owner should be more responsible in keeping the dogs secured. Unfortunately, the dogs will probably have to be euthanized, considering they were not acting normal when authorities got there…the child was in their own yard, no different than a neighbors dog barging through your door, the owner needs to be responsible for his dogs. The article states that the fence is the dog owners, so tells me the dog owner was irresponsible.

    • kathy

      the other child was 8 1/2 years his big sister… which the paper GOT wrong these two dogs would rush the chain fence run the privacy fence thier heads could fit under the pravacy fence the owners put that fence up the also had a chain link pen in the corner of the yard. But you have to be HOME to know what these dogs do or dont do.

  • James

    I can't stand people saying "euthanize the dogs". It's not their fault. It's the owner's negligence and the dogs shouldn't be punished.

    • Teresa E-N

      So it isnt the dog's fault that they reached up under the fence and pulled the child under and into their yard?

      • Ellie

        The dogs wouldn't have reached the kid if the kid wasn't too close to the fence.

        There are a lot of PEOPLE at fault here:
        1. the owners of the dogs for not being proper pet owners.
        2. the child's parents for not ensuring that their toddler was properly supervised (an older sister playing hide n go seek with the kid is NOT proper supervision).
        3. the owners of BOTH properties for not ensuring the fence was safe. Even if those dogs werent aggressive, the child could have slipped under and gotten hurt OR the dogs could have slipped under and gotten away.
        4. the child for getting in a dangerous situation. If the child is old enough to understand how to properly play hide and go seek, he is old enough to know boundaries. Behind the shed and close to aggressive dogs are two big boundaries the child should have known about.
        5. The family for not previously reporting that their neighbors had aggressive dogs. Dogs dont "suddenly become aggressive." A bite or a nip to warn off someone or defend themselves is one thing; pulling a child under a fence is a completely different thing. And in that case, those dogs are aggressive, have been trained to BE aggressive, and are constantly a danger to others.

        That said, there are plenty of ways to rehabilitate a dog. My sister's dog is a rescue from an abusive home. He was once aggressive towards people, particularly people with darker skin tones (basically anything above a tan) and males. But, now, he's a complete sweetheart.

        Dog's arent lost causes just because they've had bad training. Just like children arent lost causes just because their parents are terrible parents.

      • Guest

        You're a moron & part of the problem. Some dogs are just inherently dangerous. People like you make me ill. Always blaming the victim.

  • Misty

    It's amazing that the breed of these two dogs were not mentioned! Yet, if it would have been a pit bull it would have been blasted all over the news.

  • Jennette

    One fact is that young children often can not realize the consequences of their actions. Going near a fence where dogs are can be dangerous, even you are in your own yard. If there was little room between the fence and the shed, the child had no idea that the dogs could reach him. it really is the parents responsibility to foresee possible dangers. It is also the responsibility of dog owners to make sure their fences are secure enough to keep the dogs contained and to keep small children out.

    I know for a fact that I would have erected a wooden privacy fence where my children play opposite of a dog's yard. Just to be on the safe side. Of course, dogs often dig under fences.

    As far as I'm concerned, those two dogs are dangerous. They would have killed a person that was no threat to them. I am a dog lover but those dogs have crossed the line in my opinion.


    I'd like to know the dogs histories. If this guy "took them in for a friend" perhaps the reason the owners had to get someone else to take them is because they already attacked someone else. We don't know that but it wouldn't surprise me to find that out. I would also like to know what breed these dogs are. Are they pit bulls? If these dogs are a breed that is already inherently aggressive they should be put down. Yes the fence should have been repaired and yes the mother should have been doing a better job of watching a two-year-old but she no doubt thought he was fine with his sister in his own back yard.

    • Michele

      REALLY, you are an idiot!! There is NOT ONE single solitary breed that is inherently aggressive. NOT ONE!!! How dare you spew your hatred and ignorance. The aggressiveness comes from the owner, NOT the dog. Domestic animals only know what they are taught, PERIOD!! Also, if they were pitties the article would have stated that for sure. The press just LOVES to vilify pitties and without just cause. Pitties used to be known as the "nanny dog" because they are so good with children. Also, I would be willing to bet this small boy did something to aggravate these dogs . No one can say for sure because he was behind the shed. Dogs don't just arbitrarily attack and no just because they have tasted blood doesn't mean they will hunger for it. That is the most ignorant and absurd statement I have seen on here yet. I would also like to agree with those who say it was the parents fault. They KNEW of the "hole" yet they allowed their baby to play outside alone. NO, an 8 year old girl is NOT a responsible adult. They aren't even legally allowed to stay home alone let alone care for another human being. This is CLEARLY the parents fault and they should be brought up on charges and have their children removed. These dogs need to be allowed to go home and the fence fixed before.

      • M.E.

        It was a 4 year old in charge. These parents always put thier kids out unsupervised. The victims pit bull is the one digging the ruts under the fence to get to the shepards' side. Kids stuff items under fance to make dogs bark while mom and dad sit cozy warm inside OBLIVIOUS to thier kids. Why are dog owners held to a higher standard that the PARENTS? WHOSE FAULT IS THIS?

  • leah

    That was my lil cousin. For the ignorant people that don't know NOTHING just keep your hole closed. You were NOT there. They dragged a little harmless boy through a privacy fence that was 6 inches open if even that TWO GERMAN SHEPARDS.. They deserve to die. and my aunt and uncle are very good parents it was just two dogs that were BAD and the owner did not know how to treat them or teach them "manners". I know it is your opinion but AT LEAST get ALL the facts straight.

    • monica

      I agree I was recently attacked by a dog in my own yard. It happens so fast, the parent is not to blame. The dog owner has to take responsibility. Any dog that tastes blood is a danger for b

    • Teresa E-N

      Hi LEAH. Its TIA. PROPS for your support.
      Little man is doing well.
      HE KNOWS that thedogs bit him. He has nightmares.

    • Chris

      Calling people ignorant and then using a double negative (which changes the point of the sentence you used it in) makes you look dumb as a box of rocks. As far as your rant about who "deserve[s] to die" and whether your aunt and uncle are "good parents," both parties involved share responsibility for what happened. You can yell and scream and react viscerally all you want, but that doesn't change the truth of the situation. A not-yet-2-year-old child and his "little girl" sister playing alone in the backyard, or at least without proper supervision, may seem innocent and fine to you, but there's a reason why we have laws on the books dealing with negligence and bad parents. This is obviously what happens if you aren't willing to give your attention fully to your children while they are active outdoors.

      You say the gap beneath the fence was six inches. This means that the 1-year and 8-months old boy had to get very, very close to that gap in the fence in order for those two German Shepherds to grab them. If these dogs are meant for protection, then this is also obviously what happens when these two factors collide. It doesn't take a genius to see this. It also doesn't take a genius to know how to spell "shepherd." Just saying.

      Moving along. Who owns this "privacy fence?" That's where a big part of the blame should fall when determining how to rule on this case. This also appears to have been a known about problem, judging from your declarations that the two dogs are "BAD" and that "the owner did not know how to treat them or teach them 'manners.'" If the Nestleroads knew of the temperament of the two dogs in question, then they had the responsibility of teaching their kids that they need to be extra cautious when venturing near that fence so that no accidents could occur, or to simply avoid going up to the fence at all. If the Nestleroads knew about the gap beneath the fence, then they also had the responsibility of telling their kids to especially steer clear of that danger-zone (or they could have filled the gap in themselves in order to pre-emptively save their children from being in danger).

      Reading the bit posted in another comment about the Nestleroad family owning two dogs themselves that were active diggers along the fence boundary, and that these children were left alone outside (supposedly something that happened routinely) while the parents were inside "watching a movie," it just comes off sounding like a whole heap of negligence on the part of the parents.

  • Dede

    The "older sister" left to watch her 16 month old brother was only 4 years old. According to the officer that arrived on scene, the dogs were acting abnormal & aggressive. Really? They were hyped up from mauling a child, who they obviously thought was a threat to their territory, not to mention most dogs do not like sirens (police vehicles, ambulance & firetruck responded), and a person in a uniform. Come on, it's normal dog reaction to all the chaos going on around them. Most dogs bark at the garbage truck and the mailman. There is a chain link fence around the yard of where the dogs were.

    Leah, I'm sorry about your cousin, however, if you can't accept comments about the story, your family should have denied the media an interview. We have sent out many prayers and prayer requests for this little boy (whom we do not know). We understand the pain your family is going through, but we do not believe the dogs should be euthanized.

      • Trey

        Well Dede It seems that you your self cant even get the facts right. Facts are the Parents should have no worries when lettin their own children and a 20 month old is advanced enough to where they can play by their selves, believe it or not. Not all parents babt there kids and try keep them under develope. OK Infact by the way you cant get your facts striaght the eight year old may even be more advanced then you are. These dogs show aggressive behavvioral even towards. I live in that neighborhood. And the owners of the dogs, tore down the fence that belonged to the landlord's property of the kids parents. And the dogs owners themselves but up their idea of what a fence is not to be done. In any case if dont know all the facts and the dog will be deceased animal control already deemed them as vicious dogs so have a nice day dede. and if you want to feel free to pick on my writting ans spelling.

    • Teresa E-N

      The older sister was EIGHT. Not 4 the CHRONICAL TRIBUNE CANNOT GET ANY OF THEIR FACTS CORRECT. And the dogs do show aggressive behaviors in the middle of the night.
      THe people who own them are only trying to cover their butts because they know that they are in trouble. Let your child or family member be mauled and see if you arent out for restitution. Either the dogs get euthanized or there will be a huge law suit. If an animal cannot be trusted to remain in their area then the owners should make the area safer so that there would not be an issue.

      • Ellie

        Teresa, if YOU knew the dogs were aggressive, YOU should have done something. Animal welfare does not condone the such ownership practices. It's just as much your fault that the child is hurt as the owners of the dogs.

      • Teresa E-N

        One can never forsee something this horrendous. I could understand if someone was breaking in, but to reach up under a fence and pull the child into their yard? The dogs had been working on that hole for some time. It isnt easy to see the area unless one goes back there. The dogs showed aggressive behaviors even when people pulled up to the home.One should think that the owners would take cares to place a dig guard down especially for "outside" or "unsocialized" animals. One would think that the owner would erect a more stable fence. PERHAPS THEY JUST DIDNT CARE!!!

    • Aunt Lynda

      Dede, what are you smoking? First of all, the child is 20 months old. That is stated above. 2nd, how did you get the idea that the older sister is only 4 yrs. old??? Do facts make any difference to you? As a member of the family, I know the older sister's age. She passed 4 yrs. old 4 yrs. ago. Where did you get this "fact"? It wasn't stated or implied above. You must live in the area or have driven by or, oh, I get it. You are friends of the dogs, owners next door! That is probably most likely it! But your facts are still incorrect. Your statement about a chain link fence around the yard where the dogs are is 75% true, but the video bares witness that the fence between the 2 yards in question is a wood privacy fence. The chain link fence is irrelevant. By the way, if what I suspect is true, your friends removed the chain link fence between the 2 properties before my niece and her husband moved in and replaced it with that privacy fence. So we can rule out the drive-by.
      Another thing, I find it hard to see why someone would defend the dogs when it was 2 German Shepherds against 1 little boy. He wasn't taunting them and causing the frenzy. He didn't put his hand or anything else passed the fence, under the fence. But aggressive dogs that know their own yard know where the gaps are and were waiting for him. I'm leaning toward the opinion that this is not these dogs first hoorah!
      Finally, my niece could accept comments about the story a lot easier if they were based on fact and not conjecture. Frankly, so would I.

  • monica

    I was recently attacked by a dog and I am still suffering from my wounds. I am a 34 year old woman so I could only imagine how this small chid feels right now. Any dog who tastes blood needs to be put down. It is unfortunate that dogs have to suffer because of dog owners ignorance. I still love dogs. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless that little boy.

    • Deejay

      That is a complete myth about a dog tasting human blood needing to be put down. I'm sorry the little boy was hurt but spreading misinformation about dogs is ignorant.

    • Aunt Lynda

      Thank you, Monica, for your compassion. I'm sorry you've had to go through this. I hope you recover without any residual problems. I do feel some sorrow for the dogs, because it didn't have to be this way. Dogs are taught. Even by neglecting them, they learn. It's too bad, because German Shepherds are great dogs.

    • Teresa E-N

      I am so sorry to hear that you were attacked by a dog. I am sure some of the questions afterward did not help matters any either. People probably tried to make you seem like the "bad guy" also. Sometimes inexplicable things happen. The attack happened on the owner's property because the dogs pulled him under the fence into their yard only his upper body was in our yard. They wouldnt stop or let go. I think people should take more care of their animals or just not have any. I know how to train dogs. I have a dog and she tried to stop the other dogs from a continued attack. She loves my boy and is hearbroken and confused by the unplanned uprooting of our family. It affects all of us, The baby just got the brunt of the attack and will have the scars to prove it. Thankyou so much for the prayers. We need as much as we can get. LET US GET LOUD! God wont be able to ignore all of us.

  • loo

    An animal is an animal, and as parents it is our responsibility to make sure that we supervise our children. If I had two big dogs living behind my house, I would've been extra careful while my children played out there. Also, how long has the hole been there? This should've gotten fixed before any of this happened. I do feel bad for the family. We also need to teach our children to respect dogs because a lot of kids tease dogs behind fences, so that dog starts to hate that child, and will attack them if they get the chance.

    • yup

      I agree that the parent should've been more careful, and they should have seen to the matter of the fence sooner, and this may have been avoided….poor child now has suffered!! I think the parents of the child and the dog owner are both at fault. The child was just being a child and the dog was just being a dog.

    • trey

      No you wouldnt in lite of all the matter it took one blink of the eye. they never said how long the kids were out how do you know what would happen even if you were watching you kids get all the facts be for you speak thank you `

    • Teresa E-N

      Our child wasnt teasing anyone just playing with his sister. It was a normal thing for them that they did frequently weather permitting. The dogs have obviously been working on the hole for some time.

  • Bibi

    No they shouldn't be euthanized, just because they were defending their yard. Are you kidding me that now not even the dogs are safe in their own yard. Outrageous, I find it ridiculous that a child with a diaper is playing outside alone with another "CHILD" and to top it off hiding behind a shed where there is a gap to the other Neighbors home please I am sorry the child got mauled or whatever but think about this if it were an adult trying to sneak into my yard without permission that is my darn property so my dogs, MY DOGS will defend plain and simple. All you dog haters think before you type.

    • Dede

      Well said Bibi. The homes around this area (considered "the hood") are protected by dogs in fenced yards. They are everywhere! They knew the dogs were there. If you knew a child molester lived on your block, you wouldn't let your kids play in the yard without supervision, ya know?

    • Teresa E-N

      They werent sneaking anywhere. The dogs reached up into another person's yard and pulled the child into their yard. They tried to pull my husband in by his shoe also we have the holes to prove it and he was 6 inches away from the fence. Obviously they had been working on the hole for some time it was muddy and it made it easier. The home owner should have laid down a dig guard. Ignorant dog owners should think before they type. Obviously your views on the issue are clouded. I am sure that if a dog attacked your child you would also want the dog euthanized. We can make sure to send all the vicious dogs to your hous to chew on your children.

      • trey

        SWorry defending you territory is attacking a predator inside your own territory. The child was pulled into their property. listen to the story the nieghbors tore down someone elses fence to put up their own…… Never did they ask the property owners next door to remove the fence in any case shows the neglect. And what about the owners trying fill in the holes after the fact try cover up thing. Or how about the fact Dede if thats who you are. Why is everyone attacking the parents for…. because thats easy way out

      • FutureIsOnUs

        When did they attempt to pull your husband in by his shoe? Just trying to clarify what you are saying since I have seen it posted more then once in this thread.

      • p11

        It is still our responsibility to SUPERVISE our children. Anything can happen, even when we are watching them, but we can also help avoid extremely dangerous situations, like not allowing our toddler outside with another child, knowing that there is access for dogs to get to him!! Children need ADULT SUPERVISION, and many "busy parents" don't see that until it's too late! Fortunately, the child is still alive, and hope every caregiver of this child has learned a VERY valuable lesson! By no means do I excuse the owner of the dogs, he is just at fault for not securing his yard!!!

    • M.E

      Story doesn't mention the parents ROUTINELY put babies in back yard unattended. Story doesn't state that there are over 23 registered sex offenders within 1 mile radius of this house. Story doesn't state that these dogs were constantly tormented with kids shoving stuff under fence while owner was away. Story doesn't state that parents keep pit bulls who constantly try to dig under the fence. Why are dog owners held to a higher standard than PARENTS? WHO REALLY CAUSED THIS?

      • Teresa E_N

        Obviously you are related to the people who live next door. NO remorse for what your animals have done. Congratulations on what damage you and your relatives have caused. Those dogs arent socialized. They arent trained. They stay outside ALL the time. with little to no interaction. Try to cover your tracks. We have the scars to prove it.
        By the way thanks for ripping up the chain link fence and doing a piss-poor job of installing another fence. YOU CAUSED THIS!


    Amazing how everyone knows they have the right answer. A dog that attacks a child has not been well socialized and is a continuing danger. It is sad that they will have to suffer the consequences of an owner's lack of training, but it is worse that a child had to suffer these consequences. Dogs who attack are not protecting property; they are attacking people or other animals. Apparently Bibi and several others will never need an ambulance or firefighters. (Maybe we are supposed to wait on the street while they drag themselves out to the curb, or stand in the street and spray water on the roof while the place burns.)

  • Andrea

    These people have ben around dog's the grand mother had a dog that got out of line with the grand children & she (no blood shead or bites but did growl & something like bit nip you may say) She removed the dog & warned that it had done this so the next person to own would know for there own sake.The dog in this crossed the line when it bit under pulling the child to it's side of the whole thing of property or terorty. If the head of the child had ben mauled & not the feet & legs then who is right or wrong. as I see it it is the dog wrong because it is the legs & feet not the head..these people love dog's & cat's. I know because I know them. I've not ben intouch in person recently but know they are good people. A saying comes to mind good fence makes a good neighbor. It also is something that happens even with out a dog in the yard that gaps under fences from all kinds of anamials. befor turning out the dogs should of checked for the gaps & blocked them. The fence was a privacey wood if you watch the clip it shows it & the sheed very close to it that the child was hideing behind.

  • G.

    What I don’t understand is why this person took the dogs in the first place if he “didn’t know their history”. You just don’t take in dogs without knowing their behaviors, whether or not they are aggressive or if they have a tendency to be more territorial than other dogs. Leads me to think this owner is either crazy or lying.

    The dogs will end up being euthanized, as they should be. A dog that’s attempting to protect its territory, as some are saying, doesn’t physically pull a child under a fence. I’m having a hard time seeing how these two canines could even see this baby as a threat. I’ve seen dogs euthanized for much less. We had a gentleman come into work with his Doberman and a court order to have the dog euthanized because he attempted to bite a 12 year old girl. The girl even confessed to pulling the dog’s ears and antagonizing him, but it was still ordered the dog be put down.

    My prayers to the child. I hope he has a full recovery.

  • Amanda

    We all don't know the entire story unless we were present. Therefore making accusations or judgements on what we may or may not know is senseless. Toddlers are very curious and very fast! I have one and he is capable of anything, even while I am right there. This could of have happened so fast even while a parent was supervising! I love dogs but like others have said the dog has attacked and may do it again. Sometimes, we value an animal's life more than a human. This toddler will have issues for a very long time. If my dog attacked a small child whether it was negligence on my part or theirs,my dog would be euthanized to prevent an attack again.

  • michsel

    I know the parents and there amazing parents as to there second cousin. These people put a fence up next door with out making it level to the ground. And I got kids and I would let me kids in backyard to play. The kids were bundled up and as the report states his clothes were ripped off on the other side the fence. People can say what u want but kids should be able to play in there own yards without worry. Before u talk shi* and want to down anyone know the facts. Just like the neighbors placing bricks there after it happened to cover there tracks. Come on people he is 2 and is in pain say a prayer for the little man and his family. He has been in riley for a week now for something the neighbors could have fixed when the fence was installed. Use commen sence and quit talking smack. Get better youngster

  • merrilee

    Ok Knowing the grandparents and one of the parents let me say this: this is a dog loving family, a responsible dog loving family. They would never believe on a whim that a dog should be put down. I firmly believe(by knowing them) that if they believe that the dogs should be put down there's good reasons for it. I'm sad to hear that the boy got hurt but you have to be responsible for animals. Whether they are yours or not when they are on your property. Alot could have probably been done differently. Hindsight is 20/20.

  • M.E.

    News story did not mention that the 4 year old was out in the yard watching the 18 month old. The parents were in the house "sitting down to watch a movie". Now this is ROUTINE for these parents to put two tiny kids in the back yard unattended. Keep in mind there are over 23 registered sex offenders within one mile of their house. Also keep in mind they have pit bulls who constantly root under the fence to the neighboring german sheperds yard. The dogs are well behaved, have NEVER left their fenced yard unless on a leash, and did not leave the yard on this day. Having items shoved under a fence to provoke or play with a dog is one thing, but where is the parents' responsibility in this? Why is the dog owner held to a HIGHER STANDARD than the PARENTS who CLEARLY NEGLECTED these children putting them in harms way?

    • Hannah

      Im sorry she's 9 thank you and she should be able to play in theire yard!…..She used to be my nabior in october 2012…..

      • 123

        Sad, that a 9 year old is replacing adult supervision : (
        Now, this poor child has suffered the consequences of relying on a child to watch a child.

  • Teresa E-N

    The children arent out by themselves we are ALWAYS within hearing distance and sight. And NO WE DID NOT go to watch a movie. We had just got home. I went to get a phone so I could make phone calls. So, try to cover your a$$. You know you did wrong. And our kids arent out for long periods at a time. We dont even have a 4 yearold. O IGNORANT one. So we have pitbulls? Last time I checked we have ONE dog. ONE. Either you need to get your eyes checked or your brain shrinked because you are screwed up in the head.
    You make me sick.

    • 123

      If you are "ALWAYS within hearing distance AND sight", then why did you leave him there to go get a phone. Toddlers do need to start learning to do things on their own, but come on….. do not let them out of your sight!!! As you have sadly learned, so much can happen in such little time!!! Both sides need to learn from this: the parent(s) of the child, and the dog owner(s).

  • monica

    The children were 20 months and 9 years old i dont know what news story u seen but it never said the kids were 18 months and 4 years old but the mother has been my best friend for 22 years. Anyways the 2 dogs were german shepards. Shame to the people on here who has faultly information and has placed judgement on a situation they were not invovled with.

  • Nicole

    As someone who works with dogs on a professional level I can tell you A) with six inches of space in the fence, that child had to be UP AGAINST the gap or sticking a limb through it to be grabbed B) There is no evidence that the dogs were ever off their property, which means the child was trespassing for this to occur C) It is a myth that once a dog has a taste of blood it can never be trusted. There is no evidence for this whatsoever.

    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE ADULTS WERE NOT PROPERLY SUPERVISING THE CHILD! This isn't a hard thing to figure out, people!

    Also the father claims that if his little daughter hadn't been there to help pull her brother out, then the boy would have gone under the fence. So that means a young little girl is stronger physically than a grown woman who is trying to save the child's life? That makes zero sense at all.

    The bottom line is that the dogs were contained within their own property the entire time and should not be found at fault.

    • Responsible petowner

      You obviously don't work with animals too closely because 6 inches plus 5.5 inches in depth is more than enough for a German Sheppard to put their head under and grab a tiny boot. Any more depth to the hole and they could have gotten into the child's yard. They had obviously been working at that for a while. Most responsible pet owners would have placed a dig guard down before keeping large dogs. Every time we had a large breed, we would always place a dig guard down. Sure it is more expensive, but it saves in the long run.

      • onlooker

        Why is a dog owner more liable than a parent? The parents inside the warm home watching tv putting a 4 year old in charge of safety of 20 month old in 20 degree weather? REALLY? Why are pet owners held to HIGHER STANDARDS than PARENTS? That is ignorant.

    • OnLooker

      I concur with your analysis. I have had German Sheperds for 40+ years. I also personally know these dogs. This story is quite deceptive in their reporting. The gap under the fence is 4" at BEST. The gap is also created from the kids' side of the fence. Neighbors said they have seen on numerous occasions the kids (unattended) routinely poked sticks and various objects under the fence towards the dogs' yard. This story also neglects to report that a pitbull was kept in the kids' home which magically disappeared the same day this happened. The sheperds never left their own yard. Neighbors on all sides love the sheperds and avoided the pitbulls chainlink yard because it would bounce off the fence. People across the alley would not allow their kids to walk past the pitbull's yard but would come to visit the sheperds without incident.

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