A 6-year-old boy died after his caretaker’s dog mauled him inside a garage in Northeast Portland’s Parkrose Heights neighborhood Tuesday morning.
Officers arrived at the single-family home near Northeast 113th Avenue and Schuyler Street at 7:41 a.m. and were greeted at the front door by a woman covered in blood, police said.
The unidentified woman owns the home and told police she takes the boy to school every morning after the boy’s grandmother drops him off. She keeps her two dogs — large Great Dane-mastiff mixes — in the garage attached to the home, said Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Mike Benner.
The woman had gone into the garage that morning when the boy was inside the house. The boy opened the door to the garage and one of the dogs attacked him, police said the woman told them. The second dog was also involved in the attack, but wasn’t “the primary aggressor,” Benner said.
The woman tried pulling the dog off the boy and grabbed a gun, but didn’t shoot, Benner said.
The woman’s hands were injured while trying to stop the attack, Benner said. She was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The two dogs were still inside the garage as of 10:40 a.m., and Multnomah County Animal Services is expected to take custody of them later in the day, Benner said.
Prior to Tuesday, Multnomah County Animal Services had received no complaints involving that address and had no record of dispatching officers there, according to county spokesperson Alicia Mendez.
The Police Bureau’s child abuse detectives are leading the investigation, with assistance from homicide detectives, Benner said.
It is too early to say whether the dog owner will face criminal charges, he said.
”I speak for everyone in the bureau when I say our hearts break for the boy, for his family, for his friends,” Benner said. “It’s just unimaginable.”