Brothers recovering from extensive injuries following dog attack outside Alpharetta home

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Two Alpharetta brothers are recovering from a brutal dog attack, and their parents are thanking two witnesses who stepped in to save their lives.

On May 11, brothers Rett and Foster, ages 8 and 6, were riding bikes near their Alpharetta home when police say two Rottweilers escaped from a nearby yard and attacked them.

“I heard screaming, and I ran up the driveway to see what was going on,” said neighbor, Mary Ellen Merriam. “And it was two huge Rottweilers and two little kids, and they were losing, and they were screaming bloody murder.”

Merriam, who said she’s about five feet two inches tall, immediately sprang into action to take on the 150 pound dogs.

“I just jumped in there and tried to pull these dogs off,” she told Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik. “I climbed on top of him and let the dog chew on me for a little bit ... I thought that, you know, these children are gonna die.”


Nearby, Joey Boassy was working on a pool in the neighborhood when he told Petchenik he heard the commotion and ran over to find the disturbing scene.

“I guess instinct just kicked in, I just I ran and just like hit punch the dog in the face,” he said. “It dropped Rett you know, his neck just long enough for me to drop down to a knee and scoop him up.”

Boassy said he took off his t-shirt and fashioned it into a tourniquet to apply pressure to a deep wound on Rett’s neck.

“I just feel like it’s something anyone would have done,” he said.

Meantime, Foster was able to break free and run home to alert his father, Scott, and mother, Georgia.

“I just started praying and I was like, ‘God, am I about am I about to lose my firstborn?’” Scott Godfrey told Petchenik.

Godfrey says both boys underwent extensive surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

“There were 30 lacerations and at least 300 stitches,” Georgia Godfrey said of Rett’s injuries, adding that Foster was only in a little better shape.

Both have since recovered physically.

“They’re just like the toughest little boys in the whole world,” said Scott.

Last week, Alpharetta City Council rewarded Boassy and Merriam for their heroism by giving each a “Chief’s Coin” for their bravery.

“I just had no idea how much everybody in this neighborhood cares,” said Merriam.

Boassy added: “You can’t, you can’t put words to it. I mean, it’s, it’s great.”

The Godfreys told Petchenik they “owe everything” to the pair, whom they now consider part of their family.

“There’s no words or affection or reward or whatever you want to possibly call it they could ever adequately, adequately express ... how we feel about you and how grateful we are because ... you saved our sons’ lives,” Godfrey said to Boassy and Merriam during a tearful Zoom call with Petchenik. “We are so grateful.”

Godfrey said Fulton County Animal Control took the dogs into custody and later euthanized them, and police cited their owner. Scott had this warning for other dog owners:

“Kids should not have to worry about riding down the streets in a subdivision in a neighborhood riding their bikes down the street and worry about beasts you know, getting out and almost killing them,” he said.