Four dogs fatally attacked a boy in Idaho on Saturday and caused injuries to his mother, leading the dogs to be put down and their owners to be cited with 15 local violations, police said.
The attacks, carried out by two Rottweilers and two mixed breed dogs at their owners’ property, occurred just before 6 p.m. at a Sandy Road residence in Fort Hall, a census-designated place in the southeastern part of the state located on a Native American reservation home to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, police said.
Both the boy and his mother — neither of whom are tribal members — suffered injuries and were transported to the Portneuf Medical Center, about 13 miles south. The boy’s age and the mother’s condition were not immediately available. Their relationship to the dogs’ owners was not immediately clear.
The dogs were put down by tribal authorities, police said.
A GoFundMe page identifies the mother as Emily and the boy who died as Kellan, and states Emily “did everything in her power to protect Kellan from that attack.” The page claims the pair lived at the property where the attack occurred, and that Emily was rushed into emergency surgery and is in the ICU with “sustained nerve damage and a ruptured artery in her right arm as well as damage to the back of her head, left arm and her back.”
Emily also has a daughter who was not present at the time of the attack, according to the GoFundMe.
“I know this won’t heal the hurt but at least it can help so she doesn’t have to worry about being able to provide for her daughter while she heals,” the fundraiser states. It had raised more than $10,900 as of Wednesday morning.
The owners of the dog, who are not tribal members, were cited for 15 violations of the Tribes’ Animal Ordinance, including for a vicious animal attack and being over the limit of pets allowed, police said, adding that the U.S. Attorney will also review the case to potentially file federal charges.
There is no federal dangerous dog law, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, so it is unclear what federal charges, if any, the dogs’ owners could face.
An Idaho statute allows “anyone who owns, possesses, or harbors a dog found to be a dangerous dog or at-risk dog” to be charged with a misdemeanor and to be ordered to pay restitution to victims.
Fort Hall Police did not immediately respond to questions.
Local authorities are conducting an ongoing investigation in conjunction with the FBI, police said.
A 1997 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Rottweilers were the second-deadliest dog breed behind pit bulls, having been involved in 29 dog bite-related fatalities from 1979 to 1996 (pit bulls were involved in 60 such incidents during the same period).
Since then, Rottweilers have been involved in several more fatal attacks, including on a 2-year-old girl in Texas in 2006, a 20-month-old boy in Florida in 2009, a 10-month-old in North Carolina in 2021 and a 70-year-old Tennessee woman last June.
Male Rottweilers can weigh up to 135 pounds, while females can weigh up to 100 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club, which notes that “it is very important that discipline be consistent, fair, and firm, without being rough.”
Josh Cradduck contributed.