Boy attacked by dogs ‘healing day by day’

Devin Bates
Devin Bates surrounded by supporters at a fundraiser at Camp Harvest near Newaygo on Aug. 10, 2017.

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CROTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 12-year-old boy who was attacked by two dogs last week is out of the hospital and doing well.

Just a week ago, Devin Bates was lying in a hospital bed and depending on breathing tubes. On Thursday, he was in a wheelchair and well enough to attend a fundraiser at Camp Harvest east of Newaygo to help cover his medical expenses.

At the spaghetti dinner and silent auction, Devin met one of the men who helped saved him.

“I’m glad he’s still here,” said one of the first responders from the Ashland Grant Fire Department. “I didn’t expect he would be.”

Devin Bates, dog attack
12-year-old Devin Bates was attacked by two dogs near his Newaygo-area home.

The Ashland Grant Fire Department answered the 911 call on Aug. 1 when Devin was viciously mauled by two neighborhood dogs as he rode his bike near his home off of 96th Street near Newaygo.

“It’s something I’ve never seen before and something I never want to see again,” the first responder said. “The young man, I think his instincts kept him alive.”

Devin had holes in his neck that were three to five inches deep and gashes all over his body, including his face. He underwent two five-hour surgeries — one to repair his neck and face and reconstruct his ear. The second involved moving a vein from his left leg to his right leg to repair a main artery.

Devin Bates, dog attack
12-year-old Devin Bates was attacked by two dogs near his Newaygo-area home.

“He’s healing up good now,” Matt Bates, Devin’s dad, said. “He’s walking a little bit with a cane. A Michigan State cane we found at the hospital. He’s healing up day by day. It’s amazing how he can heal.”

Devin’s dad says his physical wounds are doing well, but his mental wounds are taking a bit longer. Still, his dad says Devin will get through it.

“I say he’s stronger than his old man,” Matt Bates said.

The dogs are still in the county’s custody until the investigation in to the incident is complete. The owner was given a citation. The Bates family says they plan to sue.