KANNAPOLIS — A man and his baby were injured in a dog attack near their home off Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ryan Kiernan was walking near the creek behind his house around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 after work. Three dogs ran from a nearby home and attacked him. Kiernan was carrying his son, who is less than a year old, when the dogs attacked.
Jena Shepard, Kiernan's girlfriend, said she saw the dogs jump over the creek and run straight for Kiernan and the child. She saw the dogs bring Kiernan to the ground.
Shepard said the attack was unprovoked.
As Kiernan tried to shield his son, a neighbor began yelling at the dogs to leave. Kiernan was also yelling for help. The dogs' owners heard the attack and drove to Kiernan's house to retrieve the dogs.
After witnessing the incident, Shepard called 911 to report the attack. Kannapolis Police responded first before Cabarrus County Animal Control arrived on scene. The dogs were put up before police arrived.
The dogs were described as inside dogs.
The attack took place off Pennsylvania Avenue near Conquerors Church International.
The dogs were placed in a 10-day quarantine at their home after the attack. Since the attack did not fit the specifications of a vicious attack, the dogs will not be under any extra restrictions at the end of the 10 days.
The dogs' rabies vaccines were expired, so the owners were required to have them vaccinated immediately after the end of the quarantine.
The 10-day period ended Jan. 21, but it is unknown if the dogs have received their vaccinations yet.
Cabarrus County EMS was on scene after the attack to care for the child's and Kiernan's injuries.
Kiernan was wearing work pants, sweats and a pair of rubber boots during the attack but still sustained several deep bite marks and gashes to his legs, heel, ear and head.
Shepard said Kiernan was unable to attend work for three days due to his injuries.
The child did not sustain any bites but was scratched in several places.
While the dogs were in quarantine, Shepard said, she heard them outside for long periods of time, which is not permitted during quarantine.
Shepard said that since the attack, she and her boyfriend carry bear mace when their are in their backyard. The couple is also considering moving due to safety concerns for their son.
Shepard said she fears what could have happened to her son.
"If my boyfriend wasn't the one down there, if it had been me, they could have killed my son," she said.