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Pair Of Families Seek Justice After Dog Maims Boy, Kills Pet

LAKE ARROWHEAD ( — A pair of local families are dealing with substantial consequences after two devastating dog attacks, one maiming a young boy and the other leaving a pet dead.

The same dog is suspected in both attacks, which occurred in Diamond Bar and Lake Arrowhead.

Three-year-old Nathaniel Merkelbach's nose was bitten of by a dog while at his grandmother's home in Diamond Bar in June.

"No one's been held accountable for what happened that night, and if anything, they've kind of turned it around on my son," Nathaniel's mother Aimee said.

Los Angeles County Animal Control filed a report, but Aimee says that since there were conflicting stories as to how the bite occurred, nothing happened to the dog, named Bowser.

Then, the Merkelbachs found out about the Schilskeys, whose dog Sarge was allegedly attacked and killed by Bowser in Lake Arrowhead in late April.

"Sarge went over on his back with his paws up (and) the dog immediately chomped down on his chest and started to shake him," Lynn Schilskey said.

San Bernardino County Animal Control now reports that it has custody of Bowser as it completes its investigation.

The Merkelbachs, meanwhile, are suing Bowser's owners, claiming that they will have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay in medical bills for their son.

Joe Cardenas, one of Bowser's owners, was asked about Nathaniel's condition and responded with "Oh, he's all right" and "It's just the tip of his nose, that's it."

The Merkelbachs' attorney, Amy Vahdat, paints quite a different picture, saying Nathaniel will face years of surgeries to correct his face.

"We're talking about multiple surgeries, well into his teen years," Vahdat said.

Bowser's owners were cited, according to San Bernardino Animal Control officials, and the dog may be put down if deemed vicious at a public hearing scheduled in the coming weeks.

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