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NEWAYGO, Mich. (WOOD) — A 12-year-old Newaygo boy who was critically injured in a dog attack near his home has been upgraded to serious condition, a Spectrum Health administrator said Friday.
Devin Bates was attacked by two dogs Tuesday, a couple of houses down from where he lives off 96th Street near Newaygo.
Rose Bates, the victim’s mother, said someone came to her house to tell her about the incident.
“A black truck came in our driveway and asked me if I had a son named Devin,” she said. “I said, ‘Yeah, it’s my boy. It’s my 12-year-old.’ He’s like, ‘Well, he’s down at the end of the road. He was viciously mauled by two dogs.'”
It was a horrendous attack that left Devin with gashes in his legs, arms and neck. The holes in his neck were three to five inches deep.
“You’re mad and upset and you want to just take care of your kid. … I feel like I should’ve been there even though there’s nothing I could’ve done,” said Devin’s father, Matthew Bates.
Rose Bates said her son underwent two five-hour surgeries, including one to repair his neck and face and reconstruct his ear. The other surgery involved moving a vein from his left leg to his right leg to repair a main artery.
Devin was connected to a breathing tube, which his parents said was expected to be removed Thursday. He could be in the hospital another week as his wounds heal.
Devin’s parents say the dogs broke off their cables at their home. They said they’ve been concerned about the care of the dogs for some time.
“That’s my kid. He’s up there (in the hospital) because somebody didn’t take care of their dogs. It’s not right,” Matthew Bates said.
Newaygo County Undersheriff Chad Palmiter said Devin was the only witness and the department is still trying to piece together what happened.
“Where the child was at, how it was occurred, where the dogs were at at the time, whether they were chained up. It’s our understanding according to (the) homeowners that the dogs were chained up when they left and that when they got home, they were not,” Palmiter said.
The owner was issued two citations for a dog at large with no license.
It’s unclear whether the Saint Bernard and Labrador retriever mixes will be euthanized; Palmiter said the county is holding the dogs in quarantine. The owner turned over a third dog, identified by authorities as a pit bull, to police Thursday.