CRISFIELD -- Benjamin Krediet, 3, of Salisbury, remained in critical condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with severe injuries from a mauling by two large malamute dogs.
His grandmother, Lucretia Tyler, 75, was in serious condition at E. W. McCready Memorial Hospital in Crisfield with multiple bites she received while trying to pull the two male dogs off the child.
The attack occurred Tuesday morning as the boy rode a toy bike in his grandmother's yard in a waterfront development near Crisfield.
Tfc. Robert A. Gunter of the Princess Anne state police barracks, said Benjamin's carotid artery was severed and that he was in cardiac arrest when resuscitation efforts began.
Richard John Crockett, 36, the dogs' owner, gave the boy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics of the Lower Somerset Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Squad arrived at the scene, Trooper Gunter said.
Benjamin was taken by ambulance to McCready Hospital, where an emergency room team worked on him for three hours to stabilize his injuries enough for him to be flown by helicopter to Hopkins.
The two malamutes, Alaskan sled dogs, were killed at the request of Mr. Crockett, a spokesman at the Somerset County Animal Control Office said. The spokesman also said the dogs tested negative for rabies.
Trooper Gunter said the dogs, 2 1/2 and 4 years old, were a common sight in the area, often riding in Mr. Crockett's truck. Mr. Crockett, owner of a Salisbury seafood company, customarily let them out for a morning run while he cleaned their air-conditioned kennel, then had them run after his truck for exercise before picking them up again, the trooper said.
Dogs are allowed to run free outside the Crisfield city limits, where there is no leash law. Benjamin and a stepsister, Katie Marie Pitcock, 7, were riding on a walkway around Mrs. Tyler's house when the dogs suddenly ran up and attacked the boy, Trooper Gunter said.
Katie Marie was on the opposite side of the house when the dogs attacked. As she came upon the scene, her screams alerted Mrs. Tyler, who ran to help Benjamin while another sister, Sarah Pitcock, 11, telephoned 911 for help.
The animals had been considered friendly and could be petted by people who saw them in Mr. Crockett's truck, the trooper said.
The animal control spokesman suggested that the noise of the toy bike might have startled one of the malamutes and led it to attack the child, after which the second dog joined in.
The children's mother, Julia Pitcock, a guard at the Eastern Correctional Center, was with her son yesterday at Hopkins. Family members asked hospital officials to say they would neither comment nor agree to interviews.