Authorities said that Ryan Hazel’s body was found in the enclosure holding the dogs in Dighton on May 9.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said that Hazel’s grandmother took him to the property to take care of several dogs, which he’d done regularly for about a year. The property owner was in Boston.
The duties usually took the boy between 30 to 45 minutes. When the boy didn’t contact the grandmother for over an hour, she called his parents, who asked a neighbor to check on him, Quinn told reporters, according to NBC 10. The neighbor found Hazel lying on the ground with “traumatic injuries” to various parts of his body.
“Last night we had a tragic situation happen in town here where a young teenage boy lost his life. Things like that should never happen to anybody, never mind a 14-year-old boy,” said Dighton Police Chief Robert MacDonald. “It’s a very, very sad thing.”
— John Atwater (@AtwaterWCVB) May 10, 2019
Ryan Hazel, 14, killed when he was mauled by four dogs. Authorities say he was caring for the animals while the homeowner was out of town. It’s a job he’s been doing for about a year. @JordanMazzaTV has the latest details coming up tonight on @ABC6 at 11:00 pic.twitter.com/jYP65i9Af0
— Daniel Keith (@DKeithABC6) May 11, 2019
“This is clearly a tragedy for the victim, his family, his friends, and the town. My heart goes out to all of them,” added Quinn.
The neighbor found four dogs in the yard, a Belgian Malinois and three Dutch Shepherds, and put them in the basement.
Seven other dogs were elsewhere on the property. All 11 were taken by Animal Control officers and would be quarantined for 10 days and possibly put down.
A man who did work on the home said that the owner, Scott Dunmore, trains dogs.
Neighbors said they’d seen some of the dogs wandering around the neighborhood.
“There’s been a few situations where she was approached by a few dogs kind of running at her and then stopped at the last second,” neighbor Benjamin Caron said describing how the dogs approached a family member, told NBC 10. “Just an awful, awful situation I would never expect that to happen on my street.”
— Lisa Kashinsky (@lisakashinsky) May 10, 2019
— Rhondella Richardson (@wcvbrhondella) May 10, 2019
Dawn Parks, who lives a few houses away from Dunmore, told the Boston Herald that he has lived in Dighton, a small town of fewer than 8,000 residents near Taunton, for two or three years.
“We can’t sleep at night with the windows open because of the barking,” said Parks, 59. Still, the mauling left her stunned. “It’s terrible,” Parks said. “We were shocked.”
Another neighbor said her four children knew the victim.
“I can’t even imagine” him dying that way, she said. “It’s just shocking. The more I think about it, the more sick I feel because there are kids up and down this road all the time. The cross-country team from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School runs this road, and there are four baseball fields and a softball field just down the road … I hope they find some solution or something.”