17-month-old boy attacked by dog in Port Royal

PORT ROYAL, SC (WTOC) - The most recent attack happened on Feb. 19 on Pennyroyal Lane in Shadow Moss. Police say a bull mastiff attacked a 17-month-old boy.

Last week on Wayside Lane, a pitbull attacked 3-year-old Daniella Ramirez. Police has to shoot and kill the pitbull to save her. She suffered several bites to her head, ear, and leg. She's now at home recovering. See Toddler recovering after pit bull attack.

While the attack on the 17-month-old wasn't as severe as the one on Wayside Lane, the little boy did get bitten on the leg. He's now back home with his family in Florida. But his aunt says this isn't the first time the dog has attacked someone in their family.

Amy Coniglio says what happened to her 17-month-old nephew in her own back yard in Shadow Moss is something she'll never forget. She says the baby was playing near the fence when her neighbor's bull mastiff attacked.

"The dog came through the fence here and grabbed hold of his pant leg and pulled him under the fence, not completely under but pulled him by the pant leg," said Coniglio. "My sister and her friend were sitting back over on the wicker furniture. My sister jumped up, ran over here, grabbed my nephew; hit the fence for the dog to let go."

She says the dog finally let go, but the baby's leg was cut by the bites.

"I thank God my sister was right there when it happened because if the baby had gotten pulled all the way under the fence, we don't know what could have happened," said Coniglio.

As a result of this most recent dog attack and the pit bull attack on Wayside Lane, Port Royal police say they are looking into stiffer laws.

"We're looking into possibly getting with other agencies, trying to come up with something, tougher penalties and trying to get something in place when we can actually start holding people more accountable for these action but its something we're going to have to study, look into," said Det. Andre Massey.

It's something people like Amy hope are changed sooner than later to preventing another attack. She says what happened in her backyard could have been prevented because she reported an attack last October when this same dog bit her toddler's hand.

"If that dog would have been gone after that first bite, my nephew wouldn't have gotten bitten," said Coniglio.

The dog's caretaker, Katie Gottschalk, was charged with the dangerous attack on humans, which carries up to three years in prison and $5,000 in penalties.

The dog also has to be quarantined for 10 days and has to be seen by a veterinarian two times during that period.

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