East Tennessee mom warns families to watch their dogs

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) – A Karns family of four loves dogs.

In fact, they had a pair of Rottweilers for more than four years, until one day last spring, when they turned against the family’s youngest son.

"They were good family dogs, they would come in every now and again to protect us," said Kathryn Slay, mother of attack victim Cortez Slay. “They were real gentle animals before this."

May 22, 2007 started out like any other day, but turned into a mother's worst nightmare.

"They were playing outside and Miles came running in," recalled Kathryn.

"I ran as fast as I could to Mommy and I told her that Cortez was getting attacked by our dogs," said Miles Slay, Cortez’s brother.

When Kathryn ran to the back yard, she couldn't believe her eyes.

"They were dragging him,” she said. “I couldn't really see him too well, but they had dragged him behind a bush, so I ran out there. I had to fight the dogs, kick them and punch them to get them off of him."

Kathryn scooped up five-year old Cortez in her arms and noticed he was covered in blood.

"It was very gory,” she said. “He had lost muscle tissue and a whole lot of skin. They had nicked his carotid arteries.”

The four year olds Rottweilers, named Fearless and Big Boy, were put down that day.

Cortez spent more than a month in the hospital and he still has scars covering his body.

“I didn't know what to do,” said Cortez Slay. "The other one bit me and They were fighting over me." They started to drag me and kept dragging me till my mom got there."

Why the two Rottweilers attacked Cortez is still a mystery to Kathryn, but they bought a very small Chihuahua recently, just to play it safe.

"I think it's important for people who are owners of large breed dogs to realize that even though your dog is your family pet, they still can be dangerous,” said Kathryn.

Cortez is still undergoing therapy and painful treatments for his injuries.

Kathryn said she wants everyone to keep an extra close eye on their dogs if they have children, because anything can happen.


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