CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A four-year-old Conover boy remains in intensive care at Levine Children's Hospital after he was attacked by his grandparents' German Shepard Monday night.
"It's a sight I just can't get out of my head," said Michael Perkins, the child's grandfather.
Perkins says 4-year-old Nathan was playing with his sibling when the dog, named Marcus, all of a sudden went after the youngster.
"Marcus saw them playing, but must have thought someone was hurting someone," said Michael.
The dog is trained in protection and Michael's wife is the only one whose commands the dog is supposed to listen to. She was inside the house when the attack began, so it was up to Michael to stop the dog from hurting Nathan.
"I have only one leg, but had my prosthetic on and got to him as quick as I could and started beating on the dog to let go." Perkins says the dog had a grip on the boy's neck but eventually let loose and then went after him. "He got me on my neck too," he said while showing deep scratches on the side of his face and neck.
At that point the boy's grandmother was outside and called the dog to stop. He did. Despite initial reports, Michael says he and Nathan were the only two who were hurt.
Nathan was transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to Levine Children's Hospital where he had one surgery Monday night and faces more in the coming days.
The dog was taken by animal control and is now in quarantine at the shelter. After ten days, a hearing will be held to determine the dog's fate.
Under local laws, the dog could be declared vicious and/or dangerous. If that happens, the owner then could be ordered to move the animal out of the county or agree to have it euthanized.
Michael says if he had the chance Monday night, "I would have shot him."
He and his wife have already made a decision on how they feel about the dog's future. "The dog will not come back here, at all, never."