Boy mauled by lab-mix

A 10-year-old boy is recovering from surgery after being mauled by a dog outside his Oak Harbor home Thursday night.

Jake Fosberg still seemed in shock Friday morning at Whidbey General Hospital as he described the attack to Island County Animal Control Office Carol Barnes.

Doctors performed surgery on the boy Friday night to irrigate and close two large scalp lacerations. They also treated bite wounds on Jake’s arm, back and buttocks.

In all, the boy received 129 stitches.

“The worst thing was getting bit in the head,” Jake said. “That really hurt.”

Barnes worked Friday to get the dog into quarantine in a veterinarian’s office. She said she plans to cite the owner of the dog, a 53-year-old man, with “control off premise resulting in the mauling of a child.” Also, she plans to give him a notice that the dog has been classified as dangerous.

Jake, the son of Carl and Ginger Fosberg, said he was playing with two friends at around 5 p.m. outside his home in the Valley High Trailer Park, which is off Oak Harbor Road. He said his friends’ grandfather was taking his two dogs for a walk, but the lab-mix named Raider got away from him.

The other kids ran after the dog, but Jake said the mutt came up to him. Jake said the dog started sniffing his arm and he thought Raider was just playing until he bit down on his arm.

The dog dragged the boy to the ground by the arm, tore the back of his head, then bit his back and buttocks.

Jake said a neighbor who was driving by got out of his car and pulled the dog off of him. His mother, who didn’t realize how serious the injuries were, drove him to the hospital.

Barnes said it was one of the worst dog-mauling cases she’s ever seen.

“This young man is very brave,” she said, “and he obviously endured a horrific trauma.”

Barnes said the owner of the dog was very remorseful and said he intends to euthanize the animal.

The animal needs to be quarantined for 10 days for observation and safety reasons. The Health Department tried to get the dog’s rabies vaccination information Friday, but the Navy’s pet center was closed that day.

According to Barnes, the owner of the dog claimed that the dog never showed any aggression before toward people or other dogs. The man has children who live with them; the kids and dogs get along peacefully.

Jake, however, said the dog bit him once before, but he never told any adults. His mother, Ginger, said the dog got away before and chased a little girl, who screamed for help right away.

“The hardest part for me was having my son screaming in pain on the way to the hospital,” she said.

The boy’s father said he was angry and frustrated at what happened, but he’s glad his son will be okay.

“He’s an outstanding child, man,” Carl Fosberg said, “braver than I am.”

You can reach Jessie Stensland at or 675-6611.

pull quote:

‘This young man is very brave, and he obviously endured a horrific trauma.’

-- Carol Barnes

Animal Control Officer

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