Wichita toddler recovers after stray dog attack, mother thankful for animal controls quick response

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita toddler recovering from a vicious stray dog and his mother said the family is thankful for the care and services by animal control.

Erin Maguire and her 2-year-old son Otto were on a morning walk in their neighborhood when one of the mother’s worst nightmares came true. A stray dog attacked her child.

The events unfolded in what the mother says felt like a split second.

“This dog ran out from behind the dumpsters and tackled my kid from behind and began to bite him on the back of the head,” Maguire recalls.

The two were walking less than a block from their home, near some small businesses. The dog leaped at Otto, who was only a few steps ahead of his mother.

“I screamed, and fortunately the dog let go. I was able to grab my son and run back to the house.” the mother said.

“Otto was pretty terrified. I don’t think that he knew it was a dog that had got him, but he knew that his head hurt. Erin said. “He was holding the back of his head, and there was blood kind of gushing out everywhere.”

Maguire then rushed Otto to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

“It was absolutely terrifying,” Erin said. “My son ended up having staples put into the back of his head.”

Otto received eight staples to the right side of his head.

A few days, and plenty of ice cream later, the staples nor the incident have slowed the rambunctious 2-year-old down. Otto still loves playing with the family pets at home and going for walks with mom. Erin says now, she brings Mace along with her and is extra observant on their strolls.

Maguire says she couldn’t have been more thankful for Wichita Animal Control, who not only met her and her son at the hospital to take pictures and file a report but also caught the dog within an hour of the attack.

“It just made me feel like they really cared about my son and what happened to them and that they wanted to rectify the situation and make sure that this didn’t happen to anybody else. So I appreciate that they took it so seriously, and were so professional.”

Maguire says she’s glad the situation wasn’t worse.

“It could have killed my son and it could severely injure another child or kill another child, it could have been something much tragic than it was, and if there were more dogs running lose the potential for that, to me, was just going to skyrocket,” she said.

The incident happened shortly before Wichita City Council proposed a cut to animal control funding, hoping to soften the blow from an estimated $11 million dollar budget deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to city officials. The council voted 7-0 to close the public hearing on the budget and take the staff’s recommended action on adopting the 2021 budget that includes adjustments to Animal Control.

If you encounter a stray animal, you can report it to animal control online, email animalcontrol@sedgwick.gov or call 316-350-3360.

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