RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 2-year-old Rutherford County boy is recovering after being bitten in the face by a neighborhood dog.

Quinn Knox was in the front yard playing with his brothers and friends Saturday morning.

Rutherford County Pet Adoption Welfare Service (PAWS) told News 2 a dog named Diesel came toward the boys around 8:30 a.m.

When the boy tried to pet him, the dog jumped on him, knocking him to the ground and latching onto his face with its teeth. The other boys panicked and ran for help.

“He actually was lying on the ground crying with his face covered,” Jennifer Dale, the 2-year-old’s mother said. “I ran outside to pick him up because I guess he was in shock and couldn’t move.”

Dale is thankful her son didn’t lose his eye in the attack.

“I was terrified; I was crying,” Dale said. “I was really thinking I was going to lose my son’s eye sight or I could possibly lose by son’s life.”

The dog let go and ran away after biting the boy, but left him with a gash near his right eye, a laceration to the chin, and teeth marks on his forehead.

PAWS did follow up visit on Sunday and couldn’t find the dog. Animal Control checked again on Monday when the dog returned. The officer took photos and followed the dog to an adjacent street where it went home. Animal Control then spoke to the owner, J.F. Richardson.

Richardson told News 2 by phone all his dogs were inside the house until 9 a.m. Saturday when he let them out to relieve themselves.

He said he stood on the back patio and watched them come back inside.

Richardson says they were locked inside all day after that until he and his son returned from Big Springs.

“I know it couldn’t have been my dog,” he said.

State law mandates dogs must be quarantined for 10 days after biting someone.

“If I can’t afford to pay at the end of the 10 days, then they’ll euthanize my dog,” Richardson said.

Once he surrenders the dog, it will remain in quarantine at a veterinarian’s office until Aug. 30. He will be responsible for paying for the 10-day stay.