Watch: Florida Cop Smashes Door To Rescue Dog From Burning Home phoenixtsk/ Pixabay

A young boy in Oklahoma was mauled to death by his family’s pet dog while playing in their home backyard. The 7-year-old child, identified as James McNeelis, was reported missing Wednesday from his home in Creek County after he didn't respond to calls from his family to come to the table for dinner.

Authorities responded to the missing child report around 7:20 pm but shortly after the boy’s father found his son dead in the backyard. The child was pronounced dead at approximately 7:35 pm.

According to the New York Post, the family told police their pet Shetland sheepdog-corgi mix had fatally attacked the boy. The dog was a stray they had rescued three weeks earlier and had not shown any signs of aggression. It was said to have been dumped on the side of the road and the family had taken it in to care for. The dog is currently being held at an animal control facility while the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office is working with authorities on the investigation.

Creek County Sheriff Bret Bowling said evidence from preliminary investigations indicates the boy was attacked by “some kind of animal”. While local officials said the accident was tragic, Bowling said it doesn’t look like there was any foul play involved.

A neighbor of the family, Shannon Edison, told the media that prior to finding the boy, several vehicles joined in the search for McNeelis. “We just started seeing flashing lights, Kiefer Police, highway patrol, another vehicle had their flashers on driving up and down the road.”

Edison was celebrating a birthday with her family outside on their porch when they heard the mother scream and saw the commotion. “We knew something was wrong. As a mother, you know that scream, if anybody has ever heard that scream, you know that scream,” she recalled.

The boy’s mother, Hannah Markley, set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise funds to help pay for her son’s memorial and cremation expenses. In an emotional Facebook post on Sunday, the child’s grieving father, Michael McNeelis wrote: “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. 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.”

Michael McNeelis also mentioned that his family plans to leave the area soon after his son is laid to rest.

Representation Image Boy and Sheepdog In the field TheOtherKey/ Pixabay