Haverhill, MA - Robert Stickney Jr., 11, is still in a Boston hospital after he received hundreds of stitches because of an attack by a 100-pound pit bull-mastiff mix. Police said the dog has since been killed, with the approval of its owner. It was the second pit bull or pit bull-mix that was destroyed in the last month in Haverhill for attacking a person. It was the fourth incident within the last month of a dog attacking a person in Haverhill.
Sarie Joffre of Haverhill told The Eagle-Tribune that the injured boy is her grandson Robert Stickney Jr., whom she calls Robbie, and that she is his legal guardian. "He needed 200 stitches on his left arm, there's a chunk of skin missing from his left leg and he has three staples in his head," Joffre said. "He's on morphine and he's having nightmares about the attack. The dog had clamped down on his leg and tore off a chunk of skin. He's going to need more surgery on Saturday."
"Joffre said that on Thursday afternoon her grandson went to 44 High St. with his father's girlfriend and the girlfriend's father. Joffre said the woman somehow injured her hand in the car door while getting out of the car. The woman then went upstairs to the second floor where her mother lives, and where the dog also stayed, Joffre said.
"The girl's father asked Robbie to go upstairs to see how she was doing," Joffre said. "When Robbie opened the upstairs door the dog came racing out and attacked him. From what I heard this was the third time this dog attacked a person."
Deputy police Chief Donald Thompson said the dog's owner, Marie Newvill, 63, of the same address, soon realized what was happening and pulled the dog off the boy. By then the boy had been injured.
Police fined Newvill $50 for having an unlicensed dog and $100 for not keeping its shots up to date."
The City Council's Public Safety Committee plans to meet May 5 at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers to discuss city laws related to the safekeeping of dogs.
04/03/08: Another Haverhill Woman Attacked by Pit Bull
02/14/08: Haverhill Woman, 26-Years Old, Attacked by Pit Bull