CHARLESTON—A joyous celebration turned into tragedy when 4-year-old Christopher Ranly was attacked by a family pit bull while attending a Christmas party at his uncle’s home near Walterboro, South Carolina, on Saturday.
Christopher, known as “Little Chris,” his mother, Brandy, and his 2-year-old sister live in Greeneville, Tennessee. His father, “Big Chris,” works in South Carolina and sometimes doesn’t get to see his wife and children for months. They united at the uncle’s house for the holiday festivities.
According to reports, the little boy picked up an apple and, when he walked outside to eat it, the pit bull attacked him.
“All of a sudden people were running in, screaming that one of the babies had been mauled,” Brandy Ranly told the Hilton Head Island Packet. “That’s when I heard someone say ‘Christopher.” The mother said she ran outside to find the dog shaking her 30-pound son so violently that the boy’s shoe flew off and the back of his head was shredded. “It could have killed him,” Brandy Ranly said.
Brandy’s brother-in-law, who works for a wildlife and pest control company, pried open the dog’s jaw and pulled the little boy away to save him.
The dog appears to have a current rabies shot and was on the owner’s property, so no laws were broken and he is being allowed to stay at the home, Tim Lynes, director of Colleton County Animal and Environmental Control, said. “We won’t take the animal as long as the owner can secure it,” which means the dog can’t have contact with people or other animals, the Sun News reports.
The uncle, Joe Ranly, who owns the male pit bull, named Stat, said it was because the pit bull was on a chain and the boy walked into his territory. He is not sure yet what decision will be made regarding keeping the dog.
“Little Chris” is still recovering at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, with over 30 staples and a drain in his scalp, according to Sun News.