Animal Rights

Pit Bull Attack Leaves 5-Year-Old Pittsburgh Boy 'Soaked in Blood'

| by Denise A Justin

On Friday, November 18, 5-year-old Hayden Stoll and his 10-year-old sister were playing on their front lawn in Herminie, PA, around 11:30 a.m., when an 80-pound Pit Bull ran into the yard and attacked Hayden, pinning him to the ground and clamping its jaws around his face.

The girl ran into the home and told her father and grandfather, “There’s a dog killing Hayden!” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Herminie is a township, located 24 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.)

William Stoll, 77, and Hayden’s father, William Stoll, Jr., 34, ran outside and tried to pry the dog’s jaws loose from the boy’s face with their hands, but the dog would not release its grip. The child appeared unconscious as the dog continued to shake him violently, they said.

Finally, the boy’s father hit the dog with a rock and it let go, knocking over the grandfather as it ran from the yard, according to

In the video report, the dog appears to be a large Blue Bully, which is a heavy, stocky, designer pit bull, touted as “family dogs.”

His grandfather was crying as he talked about Hayden to the Gazette, “His [Hayden's] eyes were open, and he was just staring. Both of us were soaked in blood.”

The little boy’s father said, “It was horrible. I thought I was going to lose him...It was the worst day of my life.”

Hayden was airlifted to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where he immediately underwent surgery. According to reports, he required numerous stitches for a large laceration from his right ear to his jaw and puncture wounds on the left side of his face, and surgeons placed a metal plate in his chin.

Although doctors feared that he would permanently lose control of his facial muscles, they said on Saturday that it appears he did not suffer permanent nerve damage, his father told reporters. 

The five-year-old remains in the hospital, sedated, and will require surgeries over the next 15 years to reconstruct his face, doctors said.

The pit bull was captured two blocks away and is being held at by Sutersville Animal Control. An official stated that the dog was not wearing a collar but is probably owned because it is in good condition and appears to be healthy. Although its ears are cropped, the 80-pound Pit Bull does not have any scars that would indicate it has been used for fighting.

Fred Moran, of Sutersville Animal Control, also stated that a local postal carrier believed he recognized the dog but could not remember the address where he had seen it. The Pit Bull will be held for ten days at the shelter. The owner could be facing charges for failure to control the dog.