Mom Hears Age 8 Son Screaming, Opens Door to Landlord's Dog Attacking Him


Rachel Stilwell took her 8-year-old son, Hayden, and 1-year-old outside to build a snowman.

Had she known what would happen once she took her 1-year-old back inside, this mother would have never left Hayden outside alone.

He wasn’t completely alone because unfortunately, the landlord’s German Shepherd approached him. The dog began attacking the boy.

Hayden screamed in a high-pitched tone. Stilwell heard it from inside and knew her son needed immediate help.

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“I ran down the stairs as fast as I could, you know the snow is slippery so I fell a couple of times, I got over there and the dog was literally on top of him and would not let him go…Everything in me was just saying, ‘Get my baby,'” Stilwell shared with WALB.

It speaks of a mother’s love for her child that Stilwell ran directly at the dog even when it tried biting her, too.

She didn’t care that she was putting herself in a dangerous position; of course, she just wanted to save her son.

Stilwell managed to grab the dog’s mouth and throw the dog off Hayden. He walked away from the attack with nine staples and ten stitches.

Hayden also walked away with a new fear of playing outside. He’s understandably fearful of another attack.

The 8-year-old isn’t the only one in the family with concerns.

His parents are concerned that they will have to break their lease if the landlord does not take action by putting down the dog or removing the dog from her home.

Joshwall Stilwell, Hayden’s father, told WALB, “We’re going to have to break our lease just to feel safe because I’d rather live in a cardboard box and feel safe than live in a home where we’re scared to walk outside.

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“All of my children are scared to walk outside.”

They hate to even think about what would have happened if their 1-year-old had still been outside. The concerned father wrote about the attack on Facebook.

He explaining that their landlord lives 100 yards away from them and has refused to put down her dog, though she is not required to by law.

Joshwall also shared his belief that “the lord was with him,” in reference to Hayden, who hopefully recovers well both physically and emotionally.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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