A GoFundMe page is seeking help for a toddler attacked by two pitbulls in Arkansas.
WARNING: this post contains graphic imagery.
Dustin Guess says that two full-grown pitbulls leapt on his son, Matthew, without warning on the morning of Thursday, April 5. They were just outside of their home in Arkansas, and Guess watched helplessly as the two animals brutalized his child.
Guess wrote that his son was playing between his family's house and his next-door neighbor's home in West Fork, Arkansas when the attack took place. According to the GoFundMe description, the pitbulls belonged to the Guess family's landlord. He saw his son dragged away by the leg by one dog while the other tore at his face.
"He said daddy, they had my face," Dustin Guess recalled in an interview with KNWA. "I couldn't win." The heartbroken father did his best to separate the two dogs from his son, but they are not easy to fend off.
"I still have his cowboy boots that have pieces of my son's face on them that fell off when I picked him up," Guess said. "I don't know how to describe the darkness, the loneliness, the pair and the fear and the anger. I mean, it's every emotion at the highest level."
Matthew was transported to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, his injuries were life-threatening when he arrived. The 4-year-old has been subject to several surgeries and innumerable stitches.
Still, according the updates on the family's GoFundMe page, the toddler has remained optimistic throughout his ordeal.
"Matthew is doing very well!" reads a post from Thursday, one week after the attack. "His spirits are so high and is one of the strongest little boys ever. He has surgery Friday morning on his face again. Prayers that everything goes smoothly! Thank yall so much for the donations. The family greatly appreciates it so very much and so does Matthew!"
The Washington County Sheriff's Office even travelled to the hospital to visit Matthew, as the page shows a picture of him being deputized in his hospital bed.
So far, the fund has raised nearly $23,000 of its projected $40,000 goal. The money will reportedly go towards Matthew's mounting medical costs, including hospital stays and facial reconstruction surgery.
Meanwhile, local authorities are reviewing the laws surrounding pet ownership, especially the breed-specific legislation surrounding pitbulls.
"We don't have any prohibitions for any particular breed," Washington County Attorney Brian Lester told KNWA. "I've already received talk from one of the Justice's of the Peace, a member of the Quorum Court, here who questioned this specifically."
Lester noted that once a dog bites a human, it is legally deemed "dangerous" no matter what. Up until that point, however, no action can be taken.
"Any dog in any home, whether it's in a good home or abused could potentially attack somebody," Lester said. "It's unfortunate because right now there is no fail-proof way to keep this from happening again."