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Baby Mauled and Killed by Pit Bull

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Are pit bulls a danger to kids?


This week, anĀ 11-month-old baby was killed after being attacked by the family pit bull.

Police said the baby was sleeping in a bed on the first floor when the dog came into the room and attacked the baby, dragging him to the floor. The baby's father told them he came into the room and tried to get the dog off the baby. When he was unable to free the baby, he shot the dog.

The CDC estimates that almost 5 million people a year are bitten by dogs in the United States, with as many as 800,000 people, more than half of them children, requiring medical attention for their dog bites. Many of these cases are fatal, or leave kids disfigured for life.

Here are a few other cases that sent shivers down our spine:

  • 3-year-old Tony Evans was found dead in front of the doghouse after being attacked by a pit bull. The pit bull was chained to the house, but made its way to the boy.
  • 5-year-old Pablo Hernandez was mauled to death by the family pit bull in their backyard. He was dragged around the backyard, suffering major damage to his face, head, and torso, and died shortly after from his injuries.
  • 1-year-old Abraham Jonathan Tackett wandered into the neighbor's backyard where several husky mixed breeds were eating. The father found the child as he was being attacked, but could not save him. According to reports, the dog that attacked was protecting his food.
  • 2-year-old Holden Jernigan was attacked and killed by the family's pit bull. While under his grandmother's care, he wandered into the backyard, where he was brutally attacked.
  • 6-year-old Sabin Jones-Abbott was attacked by the family's new pit bull/boxer mix as he went to feed it. The boy's father found his lifeless body in their home.
  • 15-month-old Charlotte Blevins was seriously injured when she and her mom, her mom's friend, and another baby on an afternoon walk were attacked by a pit bull when the dog escaped from its leash.
  • 2-year-old Amaya Hess had a pit bull latch onto her head with his mouth for 5 to 8 minutes. The claw end of a hammer was used to open the dog's jaw to release her. Amaya's scalp was missing, her right eye torn out of its socket, and her right ear was torn from the side of her head. After 9 surgeries and 69 days of medically-induced coma, Amaya is facing years of reconstructive surgery. Doctors estimate she'll have somewhere between 30 to 40 surgeries over her lifetime.

Are dogs safe for kids?

We spoke with Colleen Lynn, founder of, who said some are -- and some aren't. "There are aggressive breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and rottweilers, that I don't think are appropriate to have around children. They don't have a good safety record, and you are definitely taking a chance."

Lynn, who survived a pit bull attack herself a year ago, says even going to someone's house who has a pit bull or a dangerous breed is an unnecessary risk for your children. "These dogs were bred for violence," she says. "It's in their genes. Even if they have good owners, love is not going to take genetics away. Why take the chance, if it could cost your kid his or her life?"

Of course, some dog owners (particularly pit bull owners) disagree. One mother named Elyse posted the following video of her baby Max with her pit bull on YouTube:

Whether you are pro-dog or anti-dog, everyone agrees you should never leave a baby or small child unattended with a dog under any circumstances (even if it's the family pet). For more dog bite prevention tips, click here.

Do you think dogs are dangerous for kids?

next: Jennifer Hudson's Baby News Gives Hope
94 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 4, 2009, 4:08 PM

First of all I am sad that some of the families here had to go through this, but you are sadly mistaken thinking all Pit Bull’s are bad. You must take in consideration that most breeders are breeding aggressive dogs. If you buy a puppy from a breeder who dogs are aggressive than that will be the outcome. Most people buy puppies from breeders who’s parents are from aggressive bloodlines. I grew up around Pit Bull’s and not once did they attack or attempt to attack me, family or friends. It is all about how you treat a dog.

suss November 13, 2009, 7:58 AM

Hello? Whats with all the “do not leave unattended” rubbish? What will attendance help if your beloved killerdoggie clicks and within a fracture of a second bites your babies head off? Having those dogs in the same room with a person who cannot choose otherwise or leave by his/her own will (child, elderly, disabled, drunk, asleep, whatever they are) should be a criminal felony. And these dogs should not be allowed to be walked in public.

jen December 15, 2009, 9:38 AM

I have a 7 month old blue pitt and he is a wonderfull dog. Iam sick of people putting this breed down. And why would someone let there kid out of there sight. That’s being a bad paranet. And the parnets know better then to leave there kid alone with a dog. That’s being stupid on there behalf. And as far as a pitt walking up to someone and attacking them is very odd. I neveer heard of that. I feel people just need to leave the breed alone. Any dog weather big or small can bite u and really hurt u

Anonymous January 11, 2010, 11:20 AM

Isnt this some type of racist thing against certain dogs Its obvious that people just want something to wine about. I got bit by a black lab as a kid so does that mean black labs shouldnt be pets. Ive seen more mean dogs that were tiny then I have big ones and just because they cant hurt you too bad no one cares. Peoiple will always hate on pitbulls because of incidents like this

Amanda January 19, 2010, 8:33 AM

come on…. these are horror stories designed to make people terrified of pits! this is awful. my pit mix is like my own personal baby monitor, but both of our dogs understand the he is our baby, not theirs. this isn’t about pit bulls. it’s about irresponsible people who don’t supervise their kids or train their animals. let’s not perpetuate a negative stereotype from the media, but instead, talk about who is actually responsible for these deaths and injuries.

Anonymous January 31, 2010, 10:04 AM

I think its just not safe to have any kind of dog around a baby or kids the ages 6 and down and its not bad on the parent they could have just walked away for a minute and doesnt even matter if they are around the dog will still bit you people need to get some common sense and understand that dogs no matter what breed can be bad around kids they cant defend themselves like adults but the reason around pits is when they bite they wont let go I got bite in the arm when I was 16 and it was a pit it wouldnt let go for the life and it was a family dog raised right my friend had to hit it over the head with a frying pan

Denise Brown February 12, 2010, 3:09 PM

It amazes me that alot of these stories have one thing in common UNATTENDED TO CHILDREN!! A one year old wandered into a neighbor’s yard????? Really because I have 3 children and especially at one year old they were NOT wandering anywhere by themselves. Also if you are going to have ANY dog around children you better have it trained and know how to handle it too many stupid people get dogs and don’t know how to handle them then when something happens the dog gets blamed!!!!

JOHN February 26, 2010, 1:41 AM


Doris Biddle March 2, 2010, 11:39 AM

Whoever published this article is highly uneducated in the breed. I am a Pittbull owner and I have worked with the dogs in the past. They are NOT viscious animals nor do they “naturally” have agressive temperments. Here’s the problem : Humans. And, people like YOU who post articles like THIS are a portion of the problem. If raised like a demon, the dog will become a demon. A pittbull raised, trained, fed & cared for properly makes a wonderful pet for adults & children alike. As a matter of fact, the breed is often referrd to as “Nursey” dogs.. I bet your local news station won’t publicise that… They can’t make any money off of it. Here’s a few tips for the intelligent people reading this artice - Rule #1 Do not adopt if you are inexperienced with the breed. Especially if you have young children. Any dog raised by others will be unpredicatble. Rule #2 Do not cage up your pet and treat it like a monster. Rule #3 Do NOT use violence as a form of discipline with Pitbulls. Positive reinforcement is urged with the breed. Find a legitamite breeder and you will see what I mean…They are fantastic pets. Don’t listen to idiots like this that enjoy feeding into the pokitics of Canine mass-hysteria.

Nadine March 2, 2010, 4:20 PM

I wouldn’t believe any article that uses “facts” from That site is fueled by Colleen Lynn’s hate for pit bulls. She has no credentials in dog training, or dog behavior, yet, she thinks she’s an expert because she knows how to put together a fancy website.

GROUP1 March 17, 2010, 10:33 AM


sapphire bieber March 19, 2010, 6:08 PM

i really think that you should stay away from pit bulls when they are grown, cause’ my friend told me a baby was in a carrige and the parents dog chewed the entire baby apart!!!!SCARY!!!also you should only have pit bulls when they’re young and cute and small!!!

sapphire bieber March 19, 2010, 6:09 PM

i really think that you should stay away from pit bulls when they are grown, cause’ my friend told me a baby was in a carrige and the parents dog chewed the entire baby apart!!!!SCARY!!!also you should only have pit bulls when they’re young and cute and small!!!

erik March 27, 2010, 6:03 AM

i was biten by two dogs as a child. one was a collie and the other some little bastard. i was raised around pits rots and boxers and never once had a problem. people that are on here saing stop getting pitbulls are nuts, i bet they couldnt even pick a pit out of a lineup. so do some research and then talk to me about pits. oh my dog summer an pitboxer is the nicest dog on earth loves everyone, but no i would not leave her with a child alone thats just dumb parenting.

Sebastian April 12, 2010, 1:28 PM

Why would anyone especially a breeder nueter their dogs?!!!!

Lauren April 26, 2010, 9:52 AM

To echo what others have said, it is the parent or guardian’s SOLE responsibility to make sure that his/her children are not left unsupervised with dogs. Pit bulls receive a lot of unfair exposure in the media—just to clarify, pit bulls were *never* bred to be human-aggressive…a pit bull that is human-aggressive exhibits signs of abuse or neglect, or is otherwise unstable and should be handled accordingly—but they are no more prone to attack a child than any other breed of dog that feels provoked or threatened. No, most children do not intend to provoke dogs—they’re young and may not know how to approach or play with a dog. This is why children require adult supervision when around any animal capable of causing harm—this applies to all dogs, even smaller breeds. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child to a dog attack, but when a child and dog coexist in the same space, their interactions require the utmost scrutiny.

**Also, is notorious for having a vendetta against pit bulls and pit bulls owners. It’s not a very reputable site to quote in an article such as this one. The owners of the site also use “pit bull” as an umbrella term for a very wide range of dogs—in some cases, dogs that have no American Bull Terrier whatsoever in their blood.

Neicey May 17, 2010, 10:14 PM

The people who did this story also got the story very wrong the dog was not shot and was still alive and aken to the pound for tests. these dogs do tend to have a natural animal aggression but as long as they are socialized while being raised they are fine with other animals, but once again animal aggression and people aggression are two very different things. I have grown up myself with pit bulls and now my kids are too i will not own any other breed and i sleep very well at night knowing nothing will ever hurt my children.

David June 29, 2010, 11:58 AM

I feel sad for the parents, but there are a few points:

1) Watch your children.

2) Teach your children about animals and how they see and react to things around them.

3) American Pit Bull Terriers, for the severely misinformed who have posted, were _never_ bred to be aggressive towards humans. In fact, the opposite: those who showed aggression towards a human handler were culled/removed from the genetic pool.

4) You’re going to hear about APBTs attacking more often than other dogs because it’s good news. Nobody wants to defame Lassie, but everybody has forgotten about The Little Rascals and their American Pit Bull Terrier.

5) You have to be as good of a parent to your dog as you are to your child. Socialize them, raise them with an understanding of humans, and the way they see and react to the world.

6) My fiance and I own an 8-year-old female, and they are likely the only dog we will ever have. No child has ever been bitten, but I still know not to ask too much of my dog, or any dog. Kids can be rough, and dogs can’t always get up and walk away.

Anonymous July 12, 2010, 8:01 AM

Someone earlier posted “Why get a dog who is genetically made to be mean?”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Are you seriously considering an animal is born with a predisposition to be harmful to people? That’s like saying black people are born to be drug dealers ~ complete ignorance!! And completely UNTRUE!

I understand there is a lot of negative media out there regarding pit bulls and bully breeds who are “evil” and bred for fighting, but please don’t lump them together with the rest of the pit bulls our there who are amazing family dogs and great companions. I’ve owned pit bulls for years and know many family and friends who also own pit bulls. A dog’s demeanor is a direct reflection of its owner and how it is raised. Please don’t give pit bulls a bad reputation because of the media. “Pit bull attack” stories sell ~ but do you ever remember reading articles about a pomeranian who mauled a baby to death? Or other breeds who have done unjust deeds? Please do not discriminate ~ instead educate yourselves.

Chase October 17, 2010, 10:40 PM

Thanks for sharing this helpful info!

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