Dogs returned to Alabama owner after multiple attacks allegedly maul 6-year-old Mississippi boy

By Warren Kulo

6-year-old Liam Martinez of Wiggins, Miss., was severely injured when a pack of dogs attacked him last month. The same dogs were responsible for multiple attacks in the Mobile area.

Dogs ordered taken from their owner after multiple attacks in Mobile have now mauled a 6-year-old Mississippi child after the owner got them back illegally, according to multiple reports.

Six-year-old Liam Martinez was playing in his backyard in Wiggins, Miss., last month when he was attacked by the dogs, according to the Stone County Enterprise. His parents testified in court they heard their son’s screams and saw two of the dogs with his legs in their mouths.

The child was flown to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery requiring 100 stitches, with another surgery already scheduled. His mother says her son has muscle and nerve damage that can’t be repaired and currently he can’t walk, according to WPMI.

These same dogs, owned by 55-year-old Tamatha Lynn Melom, were responsible for multiple attacks while Melom was a Mobile-area resident, including one attack which left an elderly victim needing 63 stitches.

Microchips confirmed the dogs who attacked the child last month in Mississippi were the same ones responsible for the Mobile attacks. They are described as a pit bull/black mouth cur mix.

After the Mobile attacks, the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office ordered the dogs taken from Melom and early last year a judge ordered the dogs turned over to the Mylo Foundation, a rescue group.

But the group said it never received the dogs and instead they were transferred to a rescue group in Mississippi.

Melom moved to Mississippi, taking up residence in a camper in Wiggins, near the Martinez’ home. She admitted in court last week to using Facebook to recruit people to adopt her dogs and give them back to her, offering money in exchange.

“I do admit that I hired people to buy my dogs,” Melom said in court last week, according to the Enterprise. “I guess I did that illegally.”

Another neighbor, William Maxwell, testified security cameras at his home show the dogs on his property multiple times each week. He said in one instance all five of Melom’s dogs came and killed 14 of his chickens. He also believes Melom’s dogs are responsible for the disappearance of his own dog.

Another neighbor said the dogs charged her 13-year-old nephew while he was trying to feed their own dog. Others, including Wiggins Deputy Police Chief Tim Hill, described the dogs’ aggressive behavior in the city pound, including one instance where they were charging and biting at the kennel so aggressively the dogs were unable to be fed.

Melom took the stand in her own defense, claiming her dogs were “innocent” and that Mobile Animal Control had fabricated the attacks there and “railroaded” her and her dogs.

The Enterprise noted that at no time during last week’s hearing did Melom express remorse or offer sympathy towards the child or his family.

“She showed no remorse. She didn’t care. She was like, ‘Just don’t kill my dogs,’” said the boy’s stepfather, Aries Fairley, according to WPMI.

Ultimately, the Stone County judge ordered all five dogs to be euthanized and Melom fined in excess of $3,000 in fines for failing to abide by the Mobile court order and for not getting the dogs vaccinated for rabies.

Melom is also facing the prospect of being held liable for the child’s injuries.

“He can’t finish out his kindergarten year and that’s taken a toll on him,” the boy’s mother, Devyn Phillips, told WPMI. “He is terrified of dogs. He’s terrified of our backyard and keeps asking questions. ‘Is this lady going to get more dogs? Will they come on our property?’ Things a six-year-old should not be asking.”

Phillips, who described Melom as “a demon,” said in a Facebook post over the weekend Liam will have another surgery again this Wednesday to “remove the current sutures then they will begin closing the rest of his leg.”

In addition to additional surgery, including plastic surgery, Phillips said her son will soon begin therapy for PTSD and anxiety which has resulted from the attack.

GoFundMe page has been established to help with the family’s extensive medical expenses.