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Baby Mauled and Killed by Pit Bull

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Are pit bulls a danger to kids?


This week, an 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
brandy October 18, 2010, 10:57 AM

Most of the dogs you hear about are ones unaltered and chain up most of there life. No one ever tells what the dogs have been through. No one says what type of people there parents are. I run a bully breed rescue and my daughter has grown up with bully breeds (pit bulls) and many other breeds her whole life. It just commone sense not to leave children alone with any type of dog, but unfortunatley it is the bully breeds that are most found to be tied up, abused and neglected there whole life.

Ally October 29, 2010, 9:21 PM

I realize pit owners feel there is an unfair bias… but the evidence is plentiful. I too have seen pits that have been raised in very loving homes with proper training and care attack on a whim after years of no signs of viciousness. To deny their naturally aggressive/hunter temperament is just wrong. Sure, some pitbulls can go their whole lives with no incidents.. but look at the numbers people… pit bulls have killed more people than any other breed in the past 10 years. My thoughts go out to the families who have lost loved ones from pit attacks.

dominique adams. November 3, 2010, 11:30 AM

people dont no how to train there dogs! if yu hit yer doq or beat it .. well duh its qunna bite. nd yu shuld never put a kid by a dog. poeple tht dont kno how to train dogs to not bite nd they dont no how to treat them shouldnt have a damn doq.

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The fact is that many unresponsible owners choose this breed. They are highly intelligent and energetic animals and need a fair amount of guardianship and training. It is unfair to label all pits as aggressive dogs.

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