Baby Hospitalized After Ferret Attack

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Baby Hospitalized After Ferret Attack

CREATED Mar 24, 2014

COOPERTOWN, Tenn. - A 5-month-old baby is recovering after being attacked by a family pet Sunday morning. It wasn't a dog that attacked him but a ferret.

Pleasant View volunteer firefighters were dispatched to the home in the 3700 block of Old Coopertown Road Sunday morning for an animal attack. When they arrived they realized the attacker was a pet ferret.

"I can say, in the 25 years I've been here that's a first," said Chief PJ Duncan from the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department.  

Video captured on the cell phone of Bill Wilson, who lives across the street from the child, showed first responders tending to the child and rolling the baby to an emergency helicopter that carried him to Monroe Carell Junior Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.  

"I first thought it was a dog bite, because I didn't know, but I later found out it was a ferret," said Wilson.  

Firefighters say the small animal attacked the 5-month-old boy, causing injuries to his face that many fear could damage sight in one of his eyes.  

Crews were dispatched to boy's grandparents' home, which is next door to the 5-month-old's according to Wilson.

Wilson, who is the grandfather of a 2-year-old, says he can only imagine what the family is going through and wishes the baby a full recovery.  

The Department of Children Services could get involved in this matter because a child was injured in the family's care.  

In response to the attack, the ferret faces euthanasia by Robertson County Animal Control. Owning a ferret as a pet is illegal in some states, but ownership of the furry mammal is legal here in Tennessee.  

The family has asked the hospital not to release the baby's condition.    

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