He Took Care of a Man's Dogs. Then, Tragedy

Ryan Hazel was only 14
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2019 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ryan Hazel had been taking care of these dogs for roughly a year—but on Thursday they turned on him. The Massachusetts 14-year-old lost his life when four dogs he was tending apparently attacked him in an open yard, CBS Boston reports. "This was clearly a terrible tragedy for the victim, his family, and his friends, and the town," says Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn. "My heart goes out to all of them." Ryan's grandmother had driven him to the Dighton home and waited an hour while he did chores that normally took 30 to 45 minutes, per Mass Live. Then she called his parents in New York, who contacted a neighbor, who found the severely injured boy as four dogs roamed nearby. Seven other dogs were caged on the property.

"The injuries he sustained were too severe and he was pronounced deceased at the scene by first responders," says Quinn. The four dogs were apparently Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois; all eleven have been quarantined in accordance with state law. The owner, 49-year-old Scott Dunmore, wasn't home at the time, and a source tells WCVB he ran a dog-training business for police. With no foul play suspected, Ryan's schoolmates at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School are grappling with the sudden loss of a friend and freshman football team player. "He was super friendly, always nice," says a schoolmate. "He was just great to be around. I was just so sad when I heard it." They've decorated his locker with grieving Post-it notes. (Another man kept two lions in his yard—until the inevitable happened.)

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