CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - A 9-year-old boy in Charlotte has started his journey down the long road to recovery after being attacked by two dogs Sunday.
The boy was attacked by two Pit bull mixes at a park near his home. With visible injuries from head to toe, the family spoke with FOX 46 on his recovery.
"They have torn this child's whole world up," said Donna Starling, family member.
People who know and love Jonathan Roberto are hoping and praying for a full recovery.
"He's a very strong child. We are all proud of him," Starling said.
Starling said the 9-year-old's injuries cover much of his body.
"Both of his arms are messed up. His face is messed up. His ear from there to there has been messed up. His legs are messed up. He wants to get up and walk, but he can't right now," Starling said.
The young boy is recovering at Carolinas Medical Center where family and friends have rarely left his side.
"The whole family has been in and out of the hospital with him since Sunday, since it happened," Starling explained.
Officials said two Pit bull mixes attacked Jonathan near Archdale Park. He was playing in a wooded path. The dogs have been taken to the animal shelter where they're under a ten day rabies quarantine.
FOX 46 was told neither dog was up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Investigators are trying to figure out what to do with the dogs next.
"I think the dogs...I think they should be put to sleep," Starling said.
But before that can happen, Animal Control officers said they have to prove the animals are a further danger to the public if they are allowed to be returned to the owner.
Family members told FOX 46 Jonathan is so frightened over that happened. When he gets home he doesn't want to go outside.
"He said he isn't coming outside. That's how scared he is," Starling said.
Jonathan has a long way to go before he can go home.
"For what he's been in to, he's in good spirits," Starling said.
The family said he will likely be in the hospital for two to three months and they'll continue to be by his side.
"He's got to learn how to walk again. He has to go to learn how to use his hands again. It's just pitiful. It's something no child should go through, no grown up should go through," Starling said.
Animal Control officers can not say whether or not the owner of the dogs may be charged.
There are several steps Animal Control officers go through before deciding what to do with an animal after the quarantine period:
- Animal history, if they have been involved in previous confrontations with other people, animals.
- Conditional release, where animals may be returned to their owner but must follow a certain set of rules, like wearing a muzzle in public.