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A 14-year-old Rehoboth boy died Thursday after being mauled by dogs he was taking care of in Dighton, according to the Bristol County district attorney office.
DA Thomas Quinn said Ryan Hazel regularly helped care for 11 dogs and other animals living at a home on Maple Swamp Road.
But on Thursday evening, as his grandmother waited in the car for about two hours for him to finish his chores, Hazel was taking too long. A neighbor went to the house to check on him at around 8 p.m., Quinn said.
Hazel was found in the backyard severely injured, with four dogs outside, and seven more in cages. Authorities pronounced the boy dead at the scene.
"This was clearly a terrible tragedy for the victim, his family, and his friends and the town," Quinn said. "My heart goes out to all of them."
Quinn didn't say why the dogs might have attacked.
"Obviously something went very wrong," he said.
The dogs, Dutch shepherds and a Belgian Malinois, were taken into animal control custody. They will be quarantined for 10 days.
The dogs' owner, Scott Dunmore, 49, was in Boston when the attack happened, Quinn said, and is cooperating with investigators. The DA said foul play is not involved.
Dunmore appears to run a dog training company called 3 Dogs Running.
"Whether you're looking for assistance with a new puppy, need guidance
regarding behavioral or aggression issues in your adult dog, or would like to
get involved in a new sport or activity, I'm happy to help," Dunmore wrote on his website.
Hazel was a student at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in the community health program. His death remains under investigation.
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