Child taken to hospital after dog attack

A 2-year old Augusta boy was still in the hospital Saturday after being mauled by several dogs Friday night.


According to a Richmond County sheriff’s report, the boy’s mother, Jessica Chavous, of the 3600 block of Belair Road, told officers that her son had climbed the fence to a neighbor’s backyard where there were several dogs . The dogs bit her son, Damien Chavous, numerous times before the child’s great-uncle was able to rescue him. The incident happened about 8:40 p.m.

Damien was transported to the Medical College of Georgia hospital for treatment, and was in critical condition Saturday night, according to Denise Parrish, spokesperson for the Medical College of Georgia.

Diane Downs, director of Augusta Animal Services, said the child was attacked by four dogs . She said the owner of unoccupied house, Shirley Andres Barnes, told her that she had moved to Belvedere, S.C., but had been returning every day to feed the dogs. Two other dogs that were in a separate fenced-in area in the front yard of the house were not part of the mauling, Ms. Downs said.

A phone number for Ms. Barnes was not immediately available.

Bill Swint, the great-grandfather of the child and owner of the residence on Belair Road, said Saturday his neighbor had been taking in stray animals for years. He said at one point, she had kept at least 15 dogs in her yard. The fence between Mr. Swint’s property and Ms. Barnes is four feet high, and he believes the dogs may have pulled the toddler over it into the neighboring yard. He said his great-grandson was bitten on his legs, arms, neck, shoulders and face.

Ms. Downs said animal control has visited Ms. Barnes’ house several times in the past to remove animals. Ms. Downs said the four dogs that attacked the boy were all mixed breeds and medium in size. Animal control officers took five of the dogs away Friday night. One of the dogs that had been in the front yard jumped a fence and escaped. Animal control has not made a decision regarding what will happen to the dogs because the investigation is still ongoing, she said.


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A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

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