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5-year-old on the road to recovery after dog attack in West Michigan

His mother says he's suffered broken bones in his jaw and eye socket. She expects her son will be the hospital for a few more days. State police are investigating.

Editor's note: Some of the images in this report may not suitable for all readers.

A 5-year-old boy, Hunter Callender, is recovering after a surgery for his injuries related to a dog attack in Montcalm County last week.    

"It's been a lot," his mom Ashley White says. "It's definitely a rough road here."

She says the bad news keeps piling up since her son Hunter's stay in the hospital started last Thursday after the attack.

"He's been pretty down. He's pretty traumatized by the whole event," White says. "He doesn't know what to think. I mean, he's only five and that's quite an event to go through."

Hunter was at his grandmother's house in Howard City on May 12. He was playing outside with his little sister when two dogs jumped out of a van and attacked him. His mom says he's suffered broken bones in his jaw and eye socket.

"His surgery went good. They got the eye socket bone put back together along with his jaw," she says. "After that surgery, they actually had to wire his jaw shut. So, he's supposed to have a feeding tube in and he actually ripped it out. So, now we're trying to figure out how we can get him food because he hasn't ate since we've been here."

Credit: Ashley White

White says more surgeries are in Hunter's future to take out the wires in his jaw and correct his double vision. The doctors at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital say they expect Hunter will need braces, implants or dentures because of damage to his immature adult teeth.

"My son's had good spirit in phases. Now he's came around for a little while, but other than that, he's just not the same," she says. "And we're just really ready for him to get to recovering and coming back to no normal kid that can go outside and play like he loves to do."

A Montcalm County man is facing charges after his two dogs attacked Hunter. The dogs were taken by animal control and have since been euthanized. 

While White says they haven't heard anything from the owner, they're thankful for the support from the community. A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover Hunter's medical costs, as well as a donation account through Community First Credit Union.

Community members have also set up a t-shirt drive to help the family.

"We got a ton of outpouring support and love coming from everybody, and we couldn't appreciate it more," she says. "It's a rough road, and we're not done yet. We're still at the beginning of it all."

White says she expects Hunter will be in the hospital for at least a few more days. 

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