Questions linger after dog mauls boy

Published: Mar. 19, 2015 at 2:15 AM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2015 at 3:04 AM EDT
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Barrett Graeter (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Barrett Graeter (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Leslie Graeter (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Leslie Graeter (Source: WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – The pictures were disturbing. The sights and sounds of sewing him back together were worse.

Five-year-old Barrett Graeter was attacked by a dog named Toothless, after the police report noted a "large dog got loose from being restrained on a leash" in Jeffersonville.

Three weeks later, he was finally healed enough so his mom would let him talk to me.

[VIEW: Boy's injuries after being mauled by dog]

"I was trying to climb the fence but he grabbed my shoe and pulled me down and then started attacking me," said Barrett. "He was starting to grab my shoe first, and then the face, then the leg. His tail whacked me on the side, when he was biting this side."

I asked him how he was able to escape.

"I punched him," he said. "He was like, 'rrrrrr,' kept biting, was trying to bite through my leg."

The boy's face, arms, torso and right leg were badly injured.

"I met him at the hospital. I had to be escorted out of ER from him crying, the screams," said his mother, Leslie Graeter.

The police report notes "Jeffersonville Animal Control responded to the scene and cited the dog's owner for a vaccination violation."

The move that outraged Barrett's mother, was this: "the dog was placed on a 10 day quarantine at the residence," meaning Toothless was released back to the home where it had just broken the leash and attacked her son. Hours later she said a picture was taken of the dog out in the street. Later, the police report notes "it was then placed on a 10 day hold at the animal shelter."

"The dog was quarantined. Later the dog was picked up and taken to the shelter. But then they let the dog go. I understand the one bite thing, but that's not one bite. That dog was trying to kill him," she said.

After 10 days, the dog was not put down. It was released back to the residence. I've gone to the home several times, and asked them to contact me for their side of the story, but there has been no response.

Why was the dog initially quarantined at the house instead of animal control? Why was it then released and not put down?

Jefferson County Animal Control declined an interview because they say they've been contacted by an attorney. Jeffersonville police say they've closed the case with no recommendation of charges.

The next stop for Barrett is a plastic surgeon's office.

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