HOMESTEAD (CBS4) – A German Shepherd that mauled a 7-year-old Homestead boy Thursday night was put down Friday morning. The 7-year-old is being labeled a hero for putting himself between two younger boys and the angry dog.

The 7-year-old remains hospitalized Friday after the attack.

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Homestead police spokesperson Fernando Morales said the German Shepherd dug under the fence to escape from the property of a nearby business. It then found its way into the backyard of the home where the children were playing.

“As the dog started barking at the children, and attempting to attack the children, the 7-year-old grabbed a 4-year-old little brother and another 4-year-old friend and threw them under a car,” Morales said. “The child threw himself on the 4-year-old, basically shielding him from the dog.”

Morales said the dog then began to maul the older child.

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The father of the 7-year-old boy witnessed what was going on, grabbed a shovel and began hitting the dog until it ran away. Miami-Dade Animal Services did catch up with the dog and they took it away.

The boy was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital, where staples were used to close wounds to his head and shoulder. Morales said the two 4-year-old boys were unhurt thanks to the quick action of the older boy, and said that boy’s injuries were not severe.

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The dog’s owner was cited with two tickets as a result of the attack. One ticket was for $150 for having a dog running at large; and the other was $500 for the dog attacking the boy.