KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities say pit bulls 'just turned on him.'
A 4-year-old Harriman boy's ear was nearly torn off when he was attacked Monday afternoon by the family's two young pit bull terriers, authorities said.
The child, the son of Patricia Boshears of Emory Heights Road, was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
Boshears reportedly told officials that part of the ear was successfully reattached, and a news release from the Roane County Sheriff's Office states that the child on Tuesday "was back at home and healing well from the injuries."
Efforts to contact the family were unsuccessful. The attack occurred in the family's yard, authorities said. "He fell, and the dogs just turned on him for some reason," Roane County Animal Control Officer Josh Strickland said. Strickland said the child also sustained scratches to his face and some injuries to his other ear.
When authorities arrived, Boshears had put one of the animals up, and the other was loose, officer Larry Eaton with the Sheriff' s Office reported.
Eaton said he saw one pit bull, its face covered with blood, come from the residence and crawl under the responding ambulance.
Strickland said the dogs "were not acting aggressive when I picked them up."
"They're acting fine now," he said Wednesday afternoon. Both animals are full grown but young, he said. They were not kept within a fence at the home, he said.
The family's Labrador retriever, attached to a dog run at the time, also was taken to the animal shelter. Strickland said he received a call Tuesday from Boshears saying the family wanted to relinquish ownership of all three dogs and "wanted them put to sleep."
Strickland said the animals will be held for 10 days and will then be euthanized.
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