Seven-year-old DePaul Conley had his ear torn off, his arm broken and has bite marks all over his body after he was severely mauled by his neighbor’s two Pit Bulls. The little boy was reportedly looking over the gate to locate his football when the dogs pulled him over the fence and into their yard in Buckeye, Arizona, on Friday, according to ABC15.
DePaul is still recovering in Phoenix Children's Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance after the attack.
Besides losing his left ear, doctors report Paul suffered 14 lacerations on his right arm, 16 lacerations on his left arm, which is also broken, 17 lacerations to his left leg and a severely mangled right ear. According to the Fox10News report, he faces a long road to recovery,
On Friday, February 1, DePaul's mother, Stephanie Payne, said her 6-year-old son ran in to tell her what was happening to DePaul. "His brother ran in screaming and I ran outside and we were all screaming and I saw one dog had him by the ear and the other had his arm," Stephanie told ABC15 . She said her son was covered with blood.
Neighbors ran over and tried to help her distract the pit bulls in any way they could, she said.
She said suddenly Paul appeared to be getting weak and she became so fearful for his life that she got the dogs’ attention and allowed them to jump on her and bite her, she told ABC. "I let the dogs attack my arms so I could distract them and he could get away.”
That gave Paul time to get onto the top a small dog house in the yard – bleeding so profusely from his wounds that he began to lose consciousness.
"I could see he was like leaning against the wall dazed and kept yelling trying to get into the neighbor's home and nobody was there and it just didn't seem like the police could get there fast enough so I was then running around trying to break a window or something because if I got in, I could get to the backyard and grab him without the dogs getting me because of where he was," Stephanie told ABC15News.
After Buckeye Police arrived and got control of the dogs, De Paul was rushed by ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The little boy underwent two surgeries over the weekend, according to Fox10 News.
"It's one of those things where you hear about it, but you never think it would happen to you," said Stephanie. "Especially when he's the most selfless kid in the world."
The dogs were left in the backyard of the home, and the property was posted with a notice that the dogs had bitten someone, according to FoxNews10.
A Buckeye Police Department spokesperson told ABC15 that the homeowners were not there at the time and because the dogs were on their own property, no animal law violations occurred.
"I don't blame the dogs, I've owned pit bulls, I blame the owners who haven't taken care of them or fed them," Stephanie Payne told ABC15. She said the homeowners haven't been seen for weeks.
Stephanie says her main concerns are to make sure her son gets through this ordeal and other children are not exposed to this danger.
Buckeye Police informed ABC15 that an investigation will be conducted by the police and animal control regarding the dogs.