James Mcneelis 7 year old Oklahoma boy mauled to death by family dog while playing in the backyard. Recently acquired stray dog had never shown aggression before.
Creek County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook release told of receiving a call on Wednesday at around 7:20 p.m. about a missing child. Before the deputies arrived at the scene, 7-year-old James McNeelis’ father found him on the family property, south of Kiefer. He was unresponsive after the pet dog reportedly attacked him.
‘Shortly after deputies arrived on scene, a family member located the child on the property,’ a statement from the Creek County Sheriff’s Office read. ‘The child was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:35 p.m. The preliminary investigation indicates the child was attacked by a family pet (dog).’
The boy’s family told 2 News Oklahoma that the dog, a sheltie-corgi mix, had only been at their home for three weeks after they found it as a stray abandoned by the side of the road. The family said the dog had never shown aggression before.
The dog is currently being held at an animal control facility. It’s unclear if officials will order an euthanization.
‘We knew something was catastrophically wrong’
Surrounding neighbors told of the unfolding news of the discovery of the boy’s mauling death.
‘We knew something was wrong. As a mother, you know that scream, if anybody has ever heard that scream, you know that scream,’ neighbor Shannon Edison told KOTV-DT. ‘Something was catastrophically wrong.’
‘It was gut wrenching. No family should ever have to go through something like that,’ Edison said. ‘I just couldn’t believe it, honestly. It was something that was unfathomable.’
Family members said they were devastated by the attack and were left in disbelief.
The boy’s grandmother described James, an only child as a ‘sweet and loving’ boy who was ‘full of life.’
Of note, family members said they had planned to take the newly acquired dog to a vet to check it for ticks but never managed to prior to Wednesday’s tragedy.
Authorities continue to investigate.