‘I love y’all’: Boy gives message from hospital after seriously injured in dog attack

Justin Gilstrap, 11, gave an update on his condition from the hospital after injured in a dog attack. (Source: WRDW)
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 12:34 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/Gray News) - An 11-year-old boy in Georgia underwent surgery on Friday as he recovers from injuries suffered in a dog attack.

WRDW reports that several dogs attacked Justin Gilstrap as he was riding his bicycle last week, ripping his scalp from his head and causing numerous other injuries.

The boy’s family said he’ll need further operations, but the 11-year-old remains in good spirits.

They shared a video this week of Justin saying, “Hey, everybody. I love y’all. I just want you to know, I’m OK.”

Justin is awake and able to talk in small intervals, according to his mother.

Authorities said the dogs’ owner, Burt Baker, has surrendered many of his animals to Columbia County.

Baker surrendered seven pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes, according to transfer documents.

Justin’s family said there were prior incidents involving the dogs that attacked him with multiple animal complaint calls.

The county said it did everything to patrol the area leading up to the attack.

“I’m not saying Columbia County always does everything right. But in this instance, we follow the protocol,” said Columbia County Manager Scott Johnson.

According to the county, Baker was previously cited with one of his dogs impounded.

“We’re not naive to the fact that there may be vicious dogs out there. They just have to attack somebody before the county can do anything,” Johnson said.

The county acted when it was able to when Justin was attacked, according to Johnson.

“In this case, we have a child that was attacked. We immediately responded by impounding the animals and issuing 15 citations and turning it over to the sheriff’s office who made an arrest,” Johnson said.

Currently, the county said it hasn’t discussed changing its current ordinances.