By Mike Schuh

PASADENA, Md. (WJZ)—A 9-year-old boy is recovering after he was bitten by a dog in Pasadena.

The dog’s owners tell Mike Schuh that this incident is just the latest in a series of problems.

The Hellems family is in crisis. The electric is cut off. Three years ago, they stopped paying on their house. A pending short sale is holding off foreclosure. It seems as if everything is falling apart.

“It already fell apart. That’s why we all left and went to Florida,” said Donna Hellems, dog owner.

The family plans to move to Florida next month, but they’re currently in town.

It’s so bad that her 28-year-old son Jason is in the fireplace burning plastic off scavenged electrical wire. Selling the copper gives them money to live.

On Wednesday, their dog bit a 9-year-old boy. The dog, named Big Boy, locked onto the little boy. Jason hit the dog on the head with a baseball bat to get him to let go.

“It’s sad, but true,” Jason Hellems said.

The boy was hospitalized. Friends say he is doing OK.

But this is not the first problem caused by the Hellems’ family pets.

“I used to be a walker in the early mornings. One day, two summers ago, their dog came out, attacked me, and bit me on my elbow,” said a neighbor.

“Is this isolated? Has it happened before? And then we can proceed from there. But certainly this is an ongoing investigation right now,” said Justin Mulcahy, Anne Arundel County Police.

Big Boy is now being held at the county animal shelter. And even with all of their troubles, the Hellems want him back.

“Big Boy came over to sniff him and he tensed up and got all scared, and dogs can sense that. And as soon as my son Jason said ‘Big Boy, come here,’ that’s when he bit the kid,” Donna Hellems said.

Police say they’re not sure if charges will be filed.


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