Hollis Boy Unable to Walk After Dog Attack

Published: Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:47 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 at 3:28 PM CST
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HOLLIS Okla_ A 4-year-old Hollis boy is still in an Oklahoma City hospital almost two weeks after he was mauled by a neighbor's dog.

Police responded to a call at a home at 204 North Dixie on Oct. 19 for a dog attack. When they arrived, they found the child covered with bite marks and scratches.

4-year-old Gage Thornhill set out on a typical bike ride in his neighborhood. It ended tragically when he was violently attacked. Police arrived to find a small bicycle and two tennis shoes in a pile of dirt. Nearby, two men held the child in a jacket. Dirt covered Gage's wounds, and he is still fighting to recover from them.

Twelve days later, the cuts and gashes still have a long way to go to be completely healed. 4-year-old Gage is not himself. The young boy was attacked by an American Bulldog; it is a neighbor's dog who broke through a fence. Police arrived to find the dog tied up with blood on its face, chest, and front paws. Gage was immediately taken to a local hospital and then flown by helicopter to OU Medical Center where he remains Thursday.

Five surgeries later, Gage is still unable to walk. So, he lies in the bed as his family hopes that he will recover fully from cuts to his head, legs, and neck. He also sustained internal injuries he sustained during the attack. Hollis police say the child's parents were located inside the family's home. The child was outside without any adult supervision at the time of the attack.

Police also said that the dog did not appear vicious once they were on the scene. The owners of the dog were cited with two tickets: allowing animals to run at large and failure to vaccinate their dog for rabies.

The family's biggest concern Thursday is what will happen to the dog. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the dog must be quarantined for ten days by a veterinarian following the dog bite to make sure it does not have rabies.  After that time, it is a City of Hollis requirement for the owner to register the dog as a vicious animal. That means it would have to always be on a leash with a muzzle when outside, it must be confined to the indoors or a secure pin or kennel, a sign must be placed on the outside of the home, and the owner must have public liability insurance. So, the dog could live despite the severity of the incident.