8-year-old Omaha boy attacked by dog, mother wants neighbors to speak up

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A terrifying dog attack left one Omaha child in the hospital for weeks.

Now that he’s on the mend, the young boy’s mother wants to know why it happened and who is responsible for it.

In mid-February, 8-year-old-Tanner Benak was playing with friends near the intersection of 33rd and Jefferson.

That’s when his mom, Lora Benak says she heard a blood-curdling scream.

“I knew something was wrong I was terrified. Disbelief, seeing his face,” said Lora Benak.

Tanner’s mom says half of his upper lip was completely torn off when he was attacked by a dog.

“He went into surgery almost immediately once we got to the hospital. He had severe lacerations on his lower left chin, his right ear was torn in half.”

Tanner spent two weeks in the hospital and went through two separate surgeries. He will still need more surgeries in the future

“He was in an induced coma the first two days and on a ventilator,” said Benak.

The pit bull was picked up by the Nebraska Humane Society. Officials say when they found the dog it had no collar, no microchip, and no identifying factors. The dog was euthanized. NHS says the dog could have been a stray.

But Benak says there’s no way.

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“I’ve had people post, I posted in a neighborhood app. She said she’s seen an individual with this dog. I don’t know who the person is but I have seen this dog in the neighborhood walking around the park. No, it had an owner,” said Benak.

She says no one in the neighborhood will tell her whose dog it is. She wants someone to step up so she can get some answers.

“For them to take responsibility for medical bills, for pain and suffering. All of it. I think tanner deserves that. This didn’t have to happen,” said Benak.

Tanner is finally back at school after more than a month of healing.

His mom says he won’t play anywhere near where the attack happened.

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