7-year-old boy badly injured in Buckeye dog attack

BUCKEYE, AZ - A 7-year-old boy had his right ear torn off, his left arm broken and more than a dozen serious lacerations across his face and body after two pit bulls attacked him Friday.

"I don't blame the dogs, I've owned pit bulls, I blame the owners who haven't taken care of them or fed them," said Stephanie Payne, the boy's mom.

DePaul Payne, according to his mom, peeked over a neighbor's fence to retrieve his football and as he leaned over, the two dogs latched on, yanked him into the backyard and started to attack.

"His brother ran in screaming and I ran outside and we were all screaming and I saw one dog had him by the ear and the other had his arm," said Stephanie while sitting in a Phoenix Children's Hospital room.

Stephanie said her son was full of blood so she intervened.

"I let the dogs attack my arms so I could distract them and he could get away," said Stephanie.

DePaul made it to the top of a dog house Stephanie said and began to lose consciousness.

"I could see he was like leaning against the wall dazed and kept yelling trying to get into the neighbor's home and nobody was there and it just didn't seem like the police could get there fast enough so I was then running around trying to break a window or something because if I got in, I could get to the backyard and grab him without the dogs getting me because of where he was," said Stephanie.

Buckeye police officers arrived and rescued the boy.

A Buckeye Police Department spokesperson tells ABC15 the homeowners were not there at the time and because the dogs were in their own backyard on their property, no animal law violations occurred.

However, there is an investigation underway involving animal control and the police department.

Stephanie told ABC15 the homeowners haven't been seen for weeks.

DePaul, Stephanie said, is expected to recover physically, but is quite shaken up after the incident.


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