CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas 5-year-old is in a Dallas hospital Friday night, a day after he was mauled by a pit bull. The dog attacked Hunter Thorp Thursday night on County Road 3331, just outside Jacksonville.
"When I got to the door, she said, 'Call the sheriff. The dog's got hunter,'" said Kathy Baker, who lives across the street.
"He would just throw him this way and let go of him and grab a hold of him again," said Laura Blanchard.
"Part of his scalp was missing," said Baker. "It was down to the bone."
Baker called 9-1-1 while her great-nephew's pit bull, "Tiny," mauled 5-year-old Hunter Thorp.
"He's a little bitty fellow," said Baker. "He's like my grandson. I keep him. When he sees Josh, he wants to go back there and pet the dogs. He's petted them before."
Cherokee deputies are conducting the investigation. We spoke to Josh Fulmar the pit bull's owner.
"Have you ever had any problems with the dogs before," I asked Fulmar.
"No, never," he replied. "My dogs don't bite anybody unless, I mean, I have puppies back there, and he was probably being protective of the puppies. He's played with them, when I'd go back there and feed him, he goes back there with me and he's always done that."
Authorities say "Tiny" attacked Thorp between the front porch and the fence. Witnesses were eventually able to pull the dog off of him.
"I just seen all the blood and stuff on folks," said Baker.
"Nobody has any business having a dog like that," said Blanchard. "They're bad dogs."
"Tiny's actually a very sweet dog," said Angela Wallace, director of Klein Animal Shelter.
She says since they've had the dog in custody, he's shown no signs of aggression.
"It seems like it's the same story that we've heard quite a few times: a bad set of circumstances," said Wallace.
Leading to a bad outcome, which could have been much worse.
"It's my son's best friend," said Fulmar. "I feel really bad about it. I just wish he never would have came in my yard, you know? I hope he gets better."
Friday night, Hunter was listed in good condition, but we're told he will need reconstructive surgery on his hand and several skin grafts. The director of the animal shelter talked to the owner and says he will more than likely have the dog put down.