Boy attacked by pit bull doing OK

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LIVERMORE FALLS — An 11-year-old New York boy who was severely injured in a put bull mauling Tuesday came through surgery OK and is not expected to have any long-term damage, his father said Wednesday.

“He’s not bad,” Garry Thomsen said. “He had surgery and all that stuff. There is no long-term damage. No arteries. No tendons. He’s beat up. He’s sore.”

His son, Brandon, is expected to have more surgery on Thursday to clean out the wounds.

Thomsen had brought his son to visit his grandmother in Wilton during school vacation. The boy was attacked by the dog, Diesel, while visiting family friends in Livermore Falls.

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Garry Thomsen and longtime friend Jessica Anderson sat in the living room of Anderson’s mobile home on Globe Street, where the attack occurred, on Wednesday. Anderson’s eyes were red from tears.

She had left her 12-year-old daughter home Tuesday in charge of two of her children and Thomsen’s son while she and Thomsen went to Auburn to visit a friend. The two were in Turner on their way back when her daughter called her to tell her about the attack.

Her daughter baby-sits for her and is very responsible, Anderson said. She trusts her more than some 30-year-olds, she said.

Anderson was taking care of the 1-year-old male pit bull for a friend. She left the dog closed in a large kennel in the living room when she left home that morning.

After speaking to her, her daughter called 911 and then Anderson herself called 911 to make sure they had all the information they needed, she said.

“We were almost here and my daughter called and said they took Brandon to (Central Maine Medical Center),” she said. She turned the vehicle around and took Thomsen back to the Lewiston hospital to be with his son, and she returned home.

She called her children’s grandmother to come get the kids.

“The dog was in there loose,” Anderson said. “I was begging the police to shoot the dog and they wouldn’t. I came in by myself and I put the dog back in the kennel.”

She called veterinarians to find one who could come out and euthanize the dog. Dr. E.L. Cooper came out and did it, she said.

Anderson said the children had been squirting each other with a squirt gun an hour prior to letting the dog out of the kennel to eat.

“Brandon just happened to run down the hall,” she said, and the dog went after him.

“I don’t know why,” she said. “I would never leave them here if I thought something bad was going to happen. It was just bad judgment, for sure.”

The dog attacked her son on March 2, she said. The dog was only aggressive with her son, who rough-housed with the dog, she said. She bought the kennel for the dog to be kept in.

The dog was quarantined for 10 days after the first attack and she searched for someone to take it, someone who didn’t have children and someone who would be safe with the dog and the dog safe with them, she said. She hadn’t found anyone when Tuesday’s attack occurred. She had even considered having him euthanized.

“Since I’ve been here, the dog hadn’t shown any aggression,” Thomsen said. “I was walking him and he was fine.”

The dog sat between him and his son the night before the incident, he said. The two got along fine.

Thomsen said he considers Anderson to be one of the best mothers he’s met. “Jessica and I grew up together,” he said.

Anderson faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child and being the keeper of a dangerous dog after Tuesday’s attack.

Animal Control Officer Wayne Atwood said Wednesday the dog’s body was tested at a state laboratory and was negative for rabies.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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