A North Carolina mother who came to Myrtle Beach for vacation is trying to find the owner of a dog after it allegedly attacked her 5-year-old son at a dog park.
Ashley Sigmon, of Waxhaw, N.C., took her two sons to the Market Common Barc Park Monday evening, where they normally bring her aunt’s dog to play when they visit her in Myrtle Beach.
However, Sigmon said things quickly turned from fun to horror when her son Maddox Thomas was bit by a dog she thought was 15 to 30 lbs.
“He was covered in blood from head down to his shorts,” she said. “He has a puncture wound on his jaw, and that was the one that required the stitch. It actually had fat coming out of it.”
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Maddox also has bruising and scratches under his chin, Sigmon added.
Sigmon said it happened not long after they arrived at the dog park. She said her aunt’s dog was around four other dogs and Maddox was petting one standing off to the side.
“He was petting its head, it’s back, and then the next thing we knew, it happened so fast, the dog just reached around and bit his chin,” she said. “After I realized what happened, I grabbed Maddox and took his shirt off to stop the bleeding.”
Sigmon claims the owner “kept telling Maddox that he shouldn’t have pet the dog,” but did not warn him prior to the attack.
“She never told Maddox not to go over there, and we were all right there together,” she said. “I understand it’s a park for a dog, but it’s supposed to be a friendly park I thought. What if my younger son had a dog, is he not allowed to take him there because he’s a kid?”
Since the incident, Sigmon says Maddox is traumatized and is scared of dogs now.
“Maddox is a very sweet and loving child,” she said. “He just loves animals, and I’ve noticed, since that day, he’s very skittish. He backs away, he won’t approach a dog, he’s just very standoffish with dogs.”
Sigmon is trying to find the owner since the woman allegedly left the dog park before any information could be noted and police arrived. She also wants to know if the dog was vaccinated or not.
“It wouldn’t have even been a big deal if she had just stayed and we could’ve verified ‘okay, your dog is okay, your dog’s up to date on shots,’ but now we know nothing,” Sigmon said. “That’s the worst part. We know nothing about the dog.”
The dog is described by Sigmon as brown and white and looked like a possible Boston Terrier or Chihuahua mix. According to a Myrtle Beach police report, a witness told police the woman left the park in a dark blue compact car.
According to city law, “Any person attacked by an animal or witnessing an animal attacking a human shall notify the authorities immediately. That animal, when identified, shall be impounded and quarantined by the shelter, or may be quarantined by a veterinarian upon owner request and expense for a period of ten days for a determination of rabies.”