Cocke County boy attacked by dogs gives advice

5:18 AM, May 21, 2012   |    comments
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Each year dogs bite nearly five million people. In East Tennessee, we have seen the aftermath when dogs attack.

It has been almost one year since dogs ripped off 11 year-old Brandon Williams' ears.

Sunday was the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week and 10News caught up with Brandon.

In the last nine months a lot has changed for Brandon. Through it all, he and his father talk about their ordeal in hopes to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else. 

In August 2011, Brandon Williams lost both his ears and suffered damage to his left arm when his neighbor's dogs attacked him.

Then just a few months ago, he lost his mom.

Brandon's dad, Tony, said, "Tragic, it's been good too, just have to take one day at a time."

Brandon and Tony speak out about dog bites to maybe stop his fate from becoming someone elses reality.

"Don't go around dogs you don't know," explained Brandon.

Tony said, "Not let that youngin' wander off. Keep my eyes on him more."

State Farm says in 2011, they paid out one million dollars on 78 dog bite insurance claims in Tennessee.

Agent, Mike Lewis, says his employees try to educate policy holders so they know what to do if their dog bites someone on their property.

"It's the claims that can be avoided that you want to address," said Lewis, "We defintely don't want people in Tennessee to get injured by dogs. Dogs are great, we all love dogs, but there are safe ways and less safe ways, so a lot of it is education."

The American Veterinary Medical Association says to never run by a dog, if you are threatened by a dog, remain calm, and if you fall or are knocked to the ground you should curl in to a ball.

Tony says along with those tips, he's also teaching Brandon to remain still if a dog approaches him, "If it just helps one or two people, that's a change, that's what counts. If you can help just one person."

Brandon say's he's not afraid of dogs and he rarely thinks of his attack. Instead, he's focused on his new home in the final phases of construction.

"I want to live in it (new house) for the rest of my life, until I die," exclaimed Brandon.
 
Complete strangers have been building the home in Newport for the family for months. 

Brandon will turn 12 in August, around the time he should move in to his new home.

For more information on dog bite prevention, check out these websites:
American Veterinary Medical Association
State Farm
American Academy of Pediatrics

Prevent the Bite

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