Local News

Sampson boy, 3, recovering after pit bull attack

Posted August 29, 2013
Updated August 30, 2013

— A 3-year-old Sampson County boy who was mauled by a pit bull in May is recovering, though he is still haunted by nightmares, his mother said Thursday.

Will Baggett runs, jumps and climb trees just like any 3-year-old, but he still bears the scars of the horrific attack that put him in the hospital for eight days. He suffered wounds to his face and legs when the dog lunged at him.

"A dog bit me," Will explained.

He has just started to talk about what happened, said his mother, Ginger Baggett, and he's undergoing therapy for post-traumatic stress.

"He just has nightmares. He's fighting, screaming still to this day," she said. "That's the tough part about it right now."

Will was staying at a cousin's home while his mother ran to the supermarket on May 16. While she was gone, the dog, which was locked in a bedroom, broke free and mauled Will. The pit bull was later euthanized. 

Will Baggett Sampson 3-year-old recovers from pit bull attack

"Just having to see what he was having to go through, I wish I could take his place," Baggett said. "I blame myself, and I know I shouldn't, but I do."

But Will is resilient. 

"It's just amazing. I don't know if I would do this well if I had gotten attacked like that," Baggett said. "Emotionally, physically, he has been a champ. He's awesome."

The family is looking into plastic surgery to help with Will's scars, but the boy might have other ideas.

"My husband tells him chicks dig scars, so he looks in the mirror and says, 'Mama, girls like scars,'" Baggett said. 


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  • InterestedNurse Aug 30, 2013

    Yesterday afternoon I was running on the greenway with my two ,leashed female pit-bull mixes. My two girls were jogging quietly along-side of me...minding our own buisness. Meanwhile, a chocolate lab slipped his harness and dashed away from it's owner who was calling after it. As it charged us, snarling and barking I asked my two to please "sit". They sat at my feet and I stood very still and my dogs sat very still while the "friendly lab" snapped, lunged and circled us. Once the owner was finally able to leash him, we moved along on our way.

    The reason pit stats look astounding is becuase dog bites from other breeds are under-reported AND pits make up a larger part of the dog population. Your dreaded, "pit bull" isn't even a pit typically. It's almost always a mix, and therefore isn't registered. I volunteer at an animal shetler that has pit-mixes predominantly...and I've only ever been bitten by non-pit breeds. Just sayin'.

  • spunkyisbackagain Aug 30, 2013

    I agree that you have to be careful with any dog. In my lifetime I've been bitten by a chihuahua and a sheep dog, neither of which you hear slammed by the media as being aggressive breeds. I know quite a few people who have been bitten by chihuahuas and also by golden retrievers which are also not generally considered to be aggressive.

    My point was that not all pits are aggressive. They scared me at first because I believed all of the hype I'd heard but they are no worse than any other breed if raised correctly.

  • thedoggiebone Aug 30, 2013

    You have to be so careful with any dog, regardless of the breed. Last summer, our then 3 year old was attacked by our family dog of three years- a Great Dane. This dog was raised in the house with all of us, and we never imagined he would of attacked her. We were very blessed that she only received three staples in the top of her and a face full of bruises and gashes. The physical scars have healed but the emotional ones will last a long time for our family. Bottom line is always be watchful when having small children around any kind of dog. Remember dogs originated from wolves and you would not leave your child alone with a wolf, now would you?

  • spunkyisbackagain Aug 30, 2013

    Raised correctly, pit bulls are just as gentle as other dogs. I had a pit bull (full blood, not mix) who absolutely adored my then 6 month old granddaughter. She could pull the dogs ears, roll on top of her, etc and the dog loved it.

    If the dogs bite more, it is because for the most part they are used as guard dogs and not raised as pets. It really is all in how you raise them.

  • 678devilish Aug 30, 2013

    - pit bulls got a bad rap

    All dogs is not aggressive or killers like pit bulls. You will surely change your mind when the pit turn on you or your love ones.

  • TJPC Aug 30, 2013

    Here is some actual data - it is actually true that this breed bites and kills more people in the US than any other breed.

    In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans and accounted for 60% of the total recorded deaths (251). Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73% of these deaths

  • 678devilish Aug 30, 2013

    I do hope the child recovers well. Mean time, I strongly believe that the owners of the pit bull should be responsible for all medical bills. I will never understand why certain people would want these kind of dangerous dogs around. When they turn on their owners maybe then they will get the real deal of a picture.

  • common tater Aug 30, 2013

    Good grief...when will people realize that dogs capable of killing a human shouldn't be anywhere near children...definitely not in the same house. Maybe when people start doing jail time for child abuse.

  • Killian Aug 30, 2013

    Any dog can be aggressive - pit bulls got a bad rap for the publicity surrounding dog fighting. (It isn't like you use poodles in dog fighting rings!)

    Kudos to the little boy, though. And if his mom reads this, tell him that my son says "chicks dig scars" too! He had 8 stitches from his eyebrow up into his forehead last month and did not want me to put Mederma or anything on it to try to diminish it. =)

  • hmw198116 Aug 30, 2013

    Any breed of dog couldve done this so dont blame the breed!!! I have an 8 yr old pitbull that has grown up with my kids and she loves all kids.