Texas Boy, 7, Almost Mauled to Death by Neighbor's Dog That Shook Him 'Like a Chew Toy'

A 7-year-old boy in Texas was almost mauled to death by his neighbor's dog after he got off his school bus near Reno.

Connor Landers was walking home when a brindle boxer/bullmastiff mixed-breed dog escaped a nearby yard and attacked him.

Images posted to Facebook after the attack showed Connor covered in bite marks sustained during the attack. The seven-year-old had over three hours of reconstructive surgery for his injuries after he was taken by emergency first responders to hospital near Fort Worth for treatment.

Cassandra Ware, Connor's mother, said he spent several days in the hospital with lacerations on his face and arms and puncture wounds from the dog bites in his scalp and neck. She described the attack as a "mauling." Ware said Conner also sustained multiple bruises on his chest and legs.

There are over 4.5 million dog bites on humans each year in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.) Nearly one in five people bitten by dogs require medical attention, with the same proportion of bites becoming infected. Children are the most common victims of dog attacks.

Lorena Parker, another neighbor, who did not own the dog, heard a "rukus" as the attack took place and went to see what was happening, a police statement said. She found Connor being attacked by the dog in front of her home.

"As I rounded my house [I] could see a child on the ground, the dog was shaking him like a chew toy," Parker told Fox4News. "He was dragging him, shaking him. Every time I got the dog off, he would turn and go right back to Connor because he was crying. It was horrible.

"There was no thought, just ... get the dog off of him."

The dog dragged Conner down the street and Parker ran to free him by hitting it with a large stick. Ware said hospital staff told her Parker's actions saved her son's life.

"He underwent more than three hours of surgery to repair nerve damage to his face and to close more than two dozen lacerations his face, head and body," she said in a police statement. "The doctors anticipate he will need several more surgeries to repair additional nerve damage to his face and to repair his tear duct."

Cassandra said Conner would need physiotherapy to be able to write again and regain the use of one of his arms.

The dog involved was euthanized due to the severity of the attack.

The 49-year-old owner of the dog involved in the attack was arrested on Monday (February 7) on a third-degree felony charge of attack by dog resulting in serious bodily injury warrant, Parker County Sheriff's Office said.

"We commend Conner's neighbor for her bravery and quick actions in saving him," Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said in a statement after the attack. "We are praying for Conner to make a full recovery."

Authier said the case is currently under active investigation by the Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division.

Stock image of dog with teeth bared
Stock image of a dog with teeth bared. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. YuriyGreen/Getty Images