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Oklahoma boy, 7, fatally mauled by family dog, authorities say

"We feel alone and lost without him," James McNeelis' father wrote on Facebook. The boy's grandmother said the family had only recently gotten the dog.

A 7-year-old boy was fatally mauled by his dog last week in Oklahoma, authorities said.

The child was first reported missing about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, and when deputies arrived at the home, south of Kiefer, where the report originated, “a family member located the child on the property. ... The preliminary investigation indicates the child was attacked by a family pet (dog),” the Creek County Sheriff’s Office said a statement.

James McNeelis.
James McNeelis.Hannah Markley

The child was pronounced dead about 7:35 that night, the statement said.

The sheriff’s office said it was working with the state medical examiner’s office in the investigation. Neither could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

NBC affiliate KJRH of Tulsa identified the boy as James McNeelis. KJRH reported that his father found him dead.

The boy’s grandmother told KJRH that he was “sweet, loving and joyful.”

She said the family had had the dog, a stray corgi mix, for about three weeks before the incident. It had not shown previous signs of aggression, she said.

She told the station that the family was “devastated” and in “disbelief.”

The boy’s father, Michael McNeelis, shared his heartbreak on Facebook.

“He was so full of life and light and he was going to change the world. And he still is. His light will change the world,” the post read. “We feel alone and lost without him and we’re doing all we can but it’s just hard. Everything just hurts without my little boy here.”

The dog was being held at an animal control facility, the sheriff’s office said. It was not known Tuesday whether it had been euthanized.

Kiefer is about 100 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.