Dogs maul 5-year-old boy and adult owner at Detroit home

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Detroit police squad car. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit police squad car.

A pair of dogs mauled a 5-year-old boy and their adult owner at a house on Detroit’s west side on Friday morning.

The boy and 36-year-old man were in serious condition at a local hospital but are expected to recover, Detroit police said.



The boy was helping feed fives large dogs at a house on the 9000 block of Longacre Street when two of them attacked him, biting his body and legs. The owner, who had briefly left the room, returned and was bitten on the arms and legs while he tried to pull the dogs from the boy, police said.

Detroit Animal Care and Control seized the five dogs, and child welfare authorities were notified, police said.



The relationship between the man and boy was not immediately clear.

An investigation is ongoing.

Detroit is home to roughly 150,000 dogs, many of which end up neglected, abused, and homeless. In the city's neighborhoods, vicious dogs had become all too common — the consequence of irresponsible pet owners and a city ill-equipped to handle an abundance of stray and neglected dogs, as documented by a Metro Times cover story in October.

In 2018, the city picked up 4,136 homeless dogs — an average of more than 11 a day. Since 2005, at least six people have been mauled to death by dogs in Detroit. The victims ranged in age from three weeks old to 91 years old. Over the past three years, more than 1,250 dog bites have been reported in the city.

Over the past year, Detroit has put more resources into its animal-control division, causing a significant turnaround in care and enforcement.

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