On January 21, Kellan Boner was killed by four dogs on the Fort Hall Reservation.
Multi-Victim Dog Attack
Fort Hall, ID – A 7-year old boy died and his mother sustained serious injuries after being attacked by four dogs on the Fort Hall Reservation on January 21, 2023, according to tribal authorities. The multi-victim attack occurred just before 6:00 pm at a home on Sandy Road in Fort Hall. Both victims are non-tribal members and were transported to the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, according to a news release by Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The boy did not survive his injuries.
The four dogs involved in the attack -- two rottweilers and two mixed-breeds – were shot and killed by tribal authorities. The dogs’ owners are also non-tribal members, who own the property where the fatal attack occurred. The “dog owners were cited for 15 violations of the Tribes’ Animal Ordinance including Vicious Animal Attack, Rabies Vaccination, and Over the Limit of Canine or Feline Pet,” states the release. Tribal authorities did not release the names of the two victims.
Official Media Release - January 21, 2023
Dog Attack results in death of young boy
Fort Hall - On January 21, 2023 at approximately 5:51 pm, Fort Hall Police were dispatched to a residence on Sandy Road in Fort Hall, Idaho. They were responding to a report of a young boy who had been attacked by multiple dogs and was unconscious.
Fort Hall Police report that the two non-tribal victims involved, a mother and son, were taken to the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho. The four dogs involved in the attack were two rottweilers and two mixed breeds -- all were put down by tribal authorities. Owners of the dogs, are non-tribal members who own the property where the attacks occurred.
Dog owners were cited for 15 violations of the Tribes’ Animal Ordinance including Vicious Animal Attack, Rabies Vaccination, and Over the Limit of Canine or Feline Pets.
The Fort Hall Business Council would like to offer their sincere condolences to the family of the young man who lost his life in this tragic incident. Vice Chair, Donna Thompson, of the Fort Hall Business Council (FHBC) stated “We would like to ask the public to respect the privacy of the family at this time.” The FHBC would also like to thank the responding emergency agencies and first responders for their quick response.
Fort Hall Criminal Investigators, the FBI, Fort Hall Police, and Fish & Game are conducting an ongoing investigation. This case will be submitted to the United States Attorney to review for potential federal charges.
The Business Council reminds residents that individuals dog owners must comply with the Animal Control Ordinance. Copies of the approved Animal Control Ordinance can be picked up by members of the public from the Administration Office located within the Tribal Business Center in Fort Hall. - Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
The Sho-Ban News identified the boy’s mother as Emily Islas, who suffered severe injuries “after she tried to fight off the dogs.” The four dogs belonged to Benjamin Dominick Wolfchild and Juliana Wolfchild who reside at the home, but were away at the time. Islas and her son lived in an RV behind the Wolfchild home. The child left the RV and after not returning for a few minutes, Islas found him lying face down with the dogs mauling him in the front area of the Wolfchild home.
A fundraiser was launched Monday supporting Islas, who remains in critical care. “All I knew at that time was that her beautiful little boy Kellan didn't make it and that Emily was fighting for her life,” states the fundraiser. Islas “is still in the ICU trying to recover from the damage.” She “sustained nerve damage and a ruptured artery in her right arm as well as damage to the back of her head, left arm and her back.” Islas’ daughter, “thankfully was not there" during the attack.
The little boy’s father, Jesse Boner, who has since remarried, released a statement on Facebook sharing the grief of his loss and his support of Emily. “Nobody should ever have to outlive their children or have them taken from us in such a violent way,” Boner said. “Emily is a fighter, always has been, and a damn strong woman. Once again she’s had to prove that in doing all she could to protect our son by taking the brunt of the attacks. She needs support now more than ever.”
"Nobody should ever have to outlive their children or have them taken from us in such a violent way, but life decided otherwise and we’ve had to deal with a parent’s worse nightmare. Emily is a fighter, always has been, and a damn strong woman. Once again she’s had to prove that in doing all she could to protect our son by taking the brunt of the attacks. She needs support now more than ever because she’s going to have a long road to recovery as she recuperates in the ICU from her near fatal wounds. She was my best friend long before we got married. We learned to become friends again after our divorce. She will continue to have my support through this tragedy as we all grieve his loss together. I’m having a really hard time typing all of this as it feels like an elephant is sitting on chest and my heart is beating like a drum at a concert. Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support we’ve all been given." – Jesse Boner
Fatal Attacks on Reservations
Last year, at least four people, all tribal members, were killed by dogs on reservations. An unidentified person was killed by a pack on dogs on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona; Shawna Jo Bell, 42, was killed by multiple dogs on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming; Francis Cavanaugh, 6, was killed by a single dog on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota and Chaille Morgan, 27, was killed by a pack of dogs on the Meskwaki Settlement in Iowa.
Learn about breed-specific laws on Indian reservations in our Breed Safety Laws section.
01/24/23: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record – DogsBite.org
07/22/22: Escalating Fatal Dog Maulings on Tribal Lands - Suspected Fatal Dog Attack...
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
My heartfelt condolences to mom Emily Islas on the tragic death of her dear boy.
It should be a crime any time a loose dog even THREATENS a person. Dogs should be secured at all times on their owners property or by a < 6' leash. All others outside of secure fencing should be fair game.
Four dogs is a pack, and a pack of dogs often will attack someone when each individual dog would not. I’m very sorry to hear of this boy’s death and the injuries to his mother.
It’s unsafe to allow a pack of dogs run together. I hope the owner is seriously punished for this. The sooner owners of dogs involved in fatal attacks are jailed, the sooner owners will be responsible in confining dogs. This was no accident.
It is time to crack down on owners who cannot or will not control their dogs. In this case a boy was mauled to death and the owners should face manslaughter charges. As a survivor of a three large dog mauling I carry scars and PTSD from an attack that happened over 30 years ago. The mother’s life will never be the same and she will relive the event forever. So sad and preventable.
I pray for your continued healing.
My bosses boss at work adopted a pit mix reservation rescue dog. It’s on the second adoption since the dog killed the previous owners cat. The agency told them the dog would since “that’s how it survived on the res”, not because it’s a PIT. The dog has already bit someone but of course that’s not the dog’s fault and it’s not her fault either.
Owning dogs should not be considered a right it should be a pri iledge and every canine should de required to have a paid for permit – simple and e ery dog should be chipped – those should be the rules the guidelines n9thing complex -all dogs -teacup Yorkie bishop Frisbee Maltese etc and animal shelters should be no longer
When I’m president that’s gonna be the rules folks!
All problems solved
Not solved. There are many breeds that are large because they are
bred for a purpose. Would you use Chihuahuas as police dogs, herding dogs, or to chase raccoons? What are you going to do with a matted Maltese? Strip it bald? Have it hunt rabbits wearing a sweater? In my opinion, there is no simple solution. People need to train their dogs. Dogs that are extremely game belong in a zoo.
Rachel, conversely, it seems safer for two or more people to walk together, kids to play together. Don’t pitbull packs or lone pitbulls attack solo folks more often? Seems like it. Of course, one shouldn’t have to find a partner to walk from one’s car to the house.
My condolences and prayers to the mother and I hope the best for her physically and mentally and also to the father this is a horrible sad tragedy
There’s a new media story out, the mother is interviewed and the details are just awful.
Thanks, Sara. That was an excellent article.
Unfortunately she does not think it applies to certain breeds but “all dogs”. As if all dogs would be capable of this. I think that misconception is feeding the phobia of too many people. But I am glad to read she is at least going to do something. I wish her strength in this difficult time.
The reservation officials did the right thing by terminating those dogs on the spot & not do what they usually do on a non-reservation, which is take the dogs in for observation (???). I never understood why when dogs do these types of acts against humans and/or other animals that officials hesitate to terminate them.
There must be legislation regulating ownership of dogs because too many attacks have been happening with all types of dogs (including non-pit & non-mastiff). The poor man who was taking a walk in Selma,CA was mauled by a pack of five english bulldogs; the dog walker in the UK attacked by the dogs she was walking; the pack of poodles attacking a corgi on the beach; & other cases. People may have to start re-thinking about the types of pets to keep and/or if you have a dog, no more than 2, there should be breeder restrictions, & specific breeds need to become extinct permanently.