BANGOR, Maine — The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a young boy, who died as a result of an apparent dog attack.
Deputies responded to a reported dog attack at a house on Moody Mills Road in Corinna at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton said in a news release late Saturday night. When they arrived at the scene, deputies found that a 7-year-old boy had died as a result of the attack.
No one else was injured, and the dog has been impounded, Morton said.
The sheriff’s office declined to identify the victim and provide more details about the apparent attack. An investigation into the attack is ongoing, Morton said.
Mayo Ambulance assisted the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
The last child in Maine to die in a dog attack was 7-month-old Annabelle Mitchell, who was mauled to death on April 12, 2011, in the living room of her house in Frankfort by the family’s Rottweiler, Hannibal, while the mother slept on the couch, according to a previously published report.
Katrina Mitchell, now 34, was charged in July 2011 with endangering the life of a child, according to a previously published report. She pleaded no contest in late 2012 to the Class D misdemeanor.
In February 2013, Superior Court Justice Robert Murray sentenced Mitchell, who was passed out drunk on the couch where the child was napping, to a year in prison with all but three months suspended and a year of probation. Class D crimes carry a maximum penalty of a year in prison.
Tests done afterward showed that Mitchell’s blood alcohol level was about 0.30 percent, almost four times the legal driving limit in Maine, a previously published report said. She also tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
There were 34 dog bite-related fatalities nationwide in 2015, according to the website dogsbite.org. Of those, 14 involved children 9 years old or younger and 20 involved adults. Statistics for 2016 are not yet available.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, of which about 800,000 require medical attention.
Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Older adults are the second most common dog bite victims.
Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.