A 9-year-old boy was left with serious injuries after he was attacked by a pack of dogs in Alabama, according to police.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said five dogs attacked Gavin Peoples while he was riding a bike on Lawrence County Road 582 on Saturday afternoon.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are the most common victims of dog bites. The CDC states nearly one in five people who are bitten require medical attention.
Residents were able to save Peoples from the dogs and gave him first aid until emergency responders arrived, according to WAAY TV.
Peoples was soon rushed to Huntsville Hospital and was taken into surgery as soon as he arrived.
The LCSO told the network that Peoples had suffered wounds and severe lacerations to his leg and neck during the attack. They said he was in a serious condition.
Stephanie Overton, Peoples’ mother, praised the residents who got involved in saving her son.
She said: “There’s no telling what we would be doing today. Gavin actually told me the dog grabbed him by his back leg and pulled him off the bike and he went to hit the dog to try to get it off him.”
Overton said Peoples had been in surgery for nearly four hours and that he had about 30 wounds that needed stitches. On Tuesday, Peoples was able to take a few steps, but still has difficulty using his left arm.
She told WAAY TV: “He’s heartbroken and torn up and hurting. But he’s so tough. We’re so proud of him and we tell him constantly how proud of him we are.”
All five dogs that attacked Peoples have since been euthanized and were submitted for rabies testing. Investigators are now working to establish if any charges should be filed.
The LCSO told WAAY TV the dogs had been cared for by the owner’s girlfriend while the owner is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on unrelated charges.
Overton shared a message with pet owners, namely, to be responsible for them. She said: “We have dogs. I would tell you they never bite, but it’s an animal. You can say a horse will never kick and it might kick you one day. You just have to be cautious. You just have to be responsible.”
Newsweek has contacted the LCSO for comment.
There have been numerous cases where children have been mauled by dogs in attacks across the U.S.
Earlier this year, a 13-month-old toddler was mauled to death in a vicious dog attack in Louisiana. The child, who was attacked on Monday, July 11, was taken to a nearby hospital but died of their injuries.
A 4-year-old girl was killed by a dog in her own home in Texas that same month, according to police.
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