No criminal charges to be filed in deadly Dighton dog attack

SE Mass

DIGHTON, Mass. (WPRI) — The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office on Friday confirmed its investigation into the fatal dog mauling of 14-year-old Ryan Hazel is complete and no criminal charges will be filed.  

Last month, Hazel was taking care of several dogs for a neighbor on Maple Swamp Road in Dighton when five of the dogs attacked the boy. Despite the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office said the cause of the attack will likely never be known.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence of foul play in the case and the dogs’ owner – Scott Dunmore – was cooperative throughout the investigation. “This was sadly a terrible tragedy,” the DA’s summary stated.

“Ryan was experienced in caring for dogs; these five dogs in particular. He was devoted to caring for the dogs in a kind and humane manner. No evidence points to Ryan’s actions or conduct contributing at all to cause his death,” the report said.

The breeds of the dogs were Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois. They have since been euthanized. Investigators also found nine puppies and seven other adult dogs on the property, but they were not suspected in the attack.

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