It's the dog days of summer, but the old adage has a very literal meaning for a local young boy.
The child is recovering from facial injuries in what his mother's calling a brutal attack at the hands of a Yellow Labrador Retriever mix.
Around 8:58 p.m. Sunday, Seth Davis, 5, was doing yard work with his mom’s boyfriend at a house in the 100 block of Weber St. in Roseland. The two were moving sticks and stones as next-door-neighbor Cory Grimmer took his one-year-old dog Simba outside for a walk.
"I was bringing my dog outside to put him on the leash and he took off on me. He ran around the kid and jumped on him,” Grimmer recalled.
Seth's mom watched in horror as the 65 lb. dog, which is current on its vaccines, lunged at her son, slicing open his face.
"All I saw was my boyfriend jump and my son scream. I just took off running cause I didn't know what had even happened until I got to my son. It’s unbelievable how quickly something like that can happen,” Desiree Davis said.
"I heard him running at me so I ran and then he bit me. All I saw was the blood and it was dripping. That's how he did it. I never saw a dog do that before - never,” Seth recalled.
The Roseland Police Department and the Humane Society of St. Joseph County responded. Although officers filed a report, they didn't seize the dog, despite it being the second attack in just as many months.
"After two kids are bit I think it's time for the dog to be put down. I mean one kid is more than enough, and now two,” Desiree Davis added.
"I say my dog is not vicious because I have a two-year-old son here that he will not bite. I've had him around other kids and he will not bite them, won't growl at them, won't bark at them, won't jump on them - nothing,” Grimmer contested.
Grimmer believes Simba never bit Seth, but instead merely scratched the five-year-old child’s face with his untrimmed claws.
"The doctors at St. Joe Regional Medical Center even told me it was a bite, it wasn't scratch marks. They can tell it was puncture wounds from a canine’s teeth,” Desiree Davis added.
For now, Seth hopes his stitched wounds will fully heal as Grimmer rallies to keep his dog who’s currently serving a 10 day home quarantine pending further review.
"He did it and I can't take it back, but I’m really sorry it happened to the kid and it won't ever happen again,” Grimmer added.
"I just want them to step-up and take responsibility for their actions. They have a big fenced in yard, why can't the dog stay in the yard? Why does it have to be outside the fence, especially when they know there are kids around,” Desiree Davis concluded.
NewsCenter 16 reached out to the Humane Society of St. Joseph County to find out why it didn't seize the Yellow Labrador mix after a second incident. Dr. Carol Ecker who heads the not-for-profit agency declined to comment on the matter.
Although the Davis’ want to press charges against Grimmer, the Roseland Police Department has refused to arrest him, saying this is a civil manner as Grimmer had no ill intent.
The Davis’ are now planning to meet with a personal injury attorney to help cover Seth’s medical costs associated with the attack.
To read the Roseland Police Department’s narrative report, just click on the document icon below this story.