LAKELAND (FOX 13) - A Polk County 5-year-old has a horror story to tell when he goes back to school. However, it's not made up. It's real.
Jeremiah Ortiz is recovering after a 3-year-old Australian Shepherd mix mauled him. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
When he and his mom went into a neighbor's yard the night before, investigators say the dog attacked.
When Ernie Haygood saw what was happening, he grabbed a chain and started beating the dog.
"I wasn't just tapping him," Haygood told FOX 13. "I was womping him across the head and back. It didn't phase him."
The dog, whose name was Bruiser, ended up attacking anyone who came to help. In the end, five people were injured, including his owner. Jeremiah fared the worst by far. Another neighbor has to get stitches.
When the dog was finally subdued, Haygood got out his gun.
"I shot him off the porch. BAM!" he recalled.
Since the dog's owner could not prove that he had been vaccinated, the Polk Sheriff's Office tested him for rabies and other diseases. They are waiting for the lab results to come back.