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11-year-old child injured during dog attack

From Local 3 News: An 11-year-old boy in Marion County is home from the hospital recovering from a dog attack on Wednesday.

According to witnesses and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office a Pitbull mauled 11-year-old Gavin Elrod outside his home around 10 Wednesday morning.

Gavin was taken to the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to be treated for lacerations covering nearly his entire body.

“Gavin was out this morning, and the dogs attacked him, to my knowledge they got him pretty good,” said Juanita Nunley.

Juanita Nunely notified Local 3 Wednesday evening about the attack.

Nunley’s mother is neighbors with the boy and says she was there after the incident. She believes action needs to be taken against the neighbors who own the dog.

“Now the dogs were in their house, blood on them, and they’re trying to wash the blood off them, I mean you would think they would arrest them right there,” said Nunley.

Marion County Detective Gene Hargis says the owners, Irven and Ruth Swafford, have been cited for an animal at large and failing to keep animals on their property.

“I think it’s very important if you’re going to own a dog that is aggressive or own a dog that is possibly aggressive, that you realize that whatever that dogs actions are, you responsible for,” said Detective Hargis.

Hargis says when deputies arrived at the scene, neighbors were explaining the Pitbull was with a Labrador when Gavin was attacked.

Witnesses and Gavin told deputies the Labrador did not bite him, but appeared to be trying to stop the Pitbull during the attack.

Gavin was released from the hospital Thursday and is back home recovering.

We spoke with Gavin and his father off camera.

His father says Gavin is in high spirits but is concerned about what will happen to the Labrador.

Detective Hargis says the two dogs have been taken to a shelter in Tracy City to be tested for rabies.

“Had the case been severe and there had been a loss of life, than you are responsible as a pet owner,” said Hargis.

Hargis says it will be up to the judge to decide what ultimately happens to the dogs. He says there will likely be additional charges brought against the owners when the case goes to trial.