8-year-old boy attacked by 3 dogs after jumping fence into neighbor’s yard to retrieve ball

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 15:34:41-04

CLEARFIELD, Utah — Lindsay Long's 8-year-old son was playing in their backyard with a friend when his ball went over the neighbor's fence.

He decided to go get it, and, in a matter of seconds, three pit bulls were on top of him.

"The dogs ran after him," Long said. "They noticed him, got him to the ground, drug him across the yard a couple feet."

She heard the commotion and ran over to rescue him, but her son had already been bitten. She said she tried to put her body between her son and the dogs, but they were relentless. She ended up throwing her son back over the fence.

The boy suffered soft tissue damage, abrasions and puncture wounds.

Long said she and her husband have both told their son not to go into the neighbor's yard, even if he has permission to retrieve a toy. The dog owner's uncle, Richard Palamara, lives in the home. He said that to his knowledge, the boy was never given permission.

Palamara said no kids have ever jumped the fence before. He said the dogs have been around children before and were friendly.

"They're good dogs, man. I'm kind of surprised that's what happened," he said.

Brian Smith, a Davis County Animal Control field supervisor, said any time multiple dogs get together, it creates a pack mentality.

"Something could set them off," he said.

That is what troubles Long. She said she wants the laws changed and made stricter when considering an attack made by multiple dogs. She added Davis County prohibits homeowners from having more than two dogs in the home, anyway. At this point, however, she feels the dogs' punishment does not suit the crime.

"[My son] went through so much trauma, and the fact that these animals are allowed to just stay there and are basically off the hook for attacking my son," Long said.

Palamara said he is trying to work it out with the Longs. He said he feels awful about what happened.

"I do feel for the kid, 100 percent," he said. "I don't feel like anybody should deserve what he went through. It must have been traumatic for him."

Smith said their investigation will be based on evidence and testimony gathered at the scene.

The dogs are currently in quarantine and will be deemed dangerous. The owners are required to build a six-sided kennel to keep them in whenever the dogs are outside. They also must wear a muzzle unless they are in the kennel or house. If they go for a walk, they must be attended by an adult who is physically capable of handling them.