A dog attack in Piedmont Park left a local six-year-old scarred across the face and too traumatized to interact with any animal.
The bruising and stitching across Eric Cullins face keeps people staring. His mom tells CBS46, the onlookers make him uncomfortable so he hides behind his face mask and "pushes it all the way up."
But the look from strangers do not bother Kristie Dix nearly as much as the one of horror her child first had on February 28.
"It was really close by his eyes, and his lips had to be sewn back together because they were both open." Dix repeated, "just open."
As Cullins played ball with his cousin's dog in the designated pet area of Piedmont Park, the family says a German Shepherd lunged at the child, biting into his face. The Cleveland Elementary student is now left with facial factures and a fear of all animals.
"I couldn't even look at him that's how bad it was," recalled his mom. "It was like one of those zombie movies. You never expect--it was horrible."
Dix explained, "before he loved dogs, he had no problem with animals. But now it's like he just doesn't like animals: no dogs, no cats, no nothing."
An Atlanta Police Department report shows the dog's owner remained at the scene and talked with investigators. Dix told CBS46, she left with her son to the emergency room as police questioned the man.
“If you know your dog is vicious and dangerous, don’t bring them to the park because kids are going to be there regardless. I don’t care if it’s inside the dog park, outside the dog park, kids, people, anybody, they’re still going to go."
Although the scars are finally healing, Dix does worry the trauma might not. But in the meanwhile she is looking for more changes across all local parks.
"In parks there should be some type of emergency button, security, something-- just something."
CBS46 reached out to Fulton County Animal Services to learn what happened to the dog after the incident. They provided a statement:
“The dog was held by Fulton County Animal Control at the Fulton County Animal Shelter as part of the bite quarantine, as the bite occurred in Fulton County. Fulton Animal Control later released the dog back to the custody of its owners who reside in DeKalb County. As a result, DeKalb County Animal Control has been notified.” Says Darryl Carver, Communications Division Manager of Fulton County
The family is seeking donations for medical expenses and court costs. Click here for their fundraiser.