A four year old child was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga Saturday night after being attacked by a neighbor's dog in Liberty.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department received a call around 6:15 p.m. that a child had been mauled by a dog, a blue heeler mix, at a residence on Greenhill Road in Liberty. The four year old boy reportedly suffered serious facial injuries, especially around his left eye.
The child, Joseph (Joey) Hall, is the son of Alan and Teresa Hall of Highway 53 near Liberty.
Mrs. Hall spoke by telephone with WJLE this morning (Sunday) from the hospital. Several stitches were required due to head and facial lacerations but Mrs. Hall says Joey's eye is going to be okay and he is expected to be released from the hospital today (Sunday).
According to Mrs. Hall, her children were with the kids at the next door neighbor's home of Tony and Carol Stevens, when the incident occurred. She says the other children went inside the house to do something, and asked Joey to stay outside for a minute, and when the children came back out moments later, they found him injured and bleeding.
Mrs Hall says according to Joey, as he was waiting for the other children to come back outside, he gave the dog a loving stare, when the animal attacked him. No one else was injured.
She says the dog is a stray animal that the neighbors have kept for about eight months, and Joey had been around him before.
Local authorities and EMS were notified and arrived on the scene. The child was later airlifted on site to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.
The dog is now in the custody of the Sheriff's Department, being kept at the local dog pound.
Sheriff Ray says the investigation continues.