Family members believe Jacob Van Pelt of McCoole, Md. was just trying to play with the pet, but the dog snapped and brutally attacked him.
Jacob has been sedated at Ruby Memorial Hospital since the attack happened on
Thursday. His injuries are severe and he is just starting the long road to recovery.
The dog is described as a 60-80 pound mutt, which is probably about twice Jacob's size.
Jacob's right leg is still attached to his body, but it's in bad shape. He has been able to move his toes and doctors have found a pulse in his foot; they're all good signs.
He also had to have his stomach sewn back together because the dog had actually pulled out some of his intestines.
Family members say Jacob was out with his grandfather when he wandered off to his aunt's and uncle's yard. They foster dogs for the Mineral County Humane Society.
It is believed that Jacob let out one of the dogs that was locked in a cage. When family members found the dog on Jacob, they had to beat it to get it off of him.
Jacob's mother, Jennifer Van Pelt, and several other family members are with him in Morrgantown. She's not blaming anyone; she says it's a terrible accident.
"Everybody in our community has been praying. It's been unreal the amount of prayer requests that have went out for him and that's the only thing that's kept him alive. It was so severe that if it wouldn't have been for God watching over him, he would not be here today," she adds.
Allegany County Animal Control put the dog down on Thursday. Tests for rabies came back negative.
The family hopes to know more about Jacob's prognosis once he's weaned off his medication, hopefully Tuesday.
The Van Pelt family has set up a fund if you can help them with medical expenses. Make donations to:
First United Bank in Keyser
800 Keyser Square
Keyser, WV 26726
C/O Jacob Van Pelt Benefit Fund
Click here to follow Jacob's progress on Facebook.