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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
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Toni U. Guthrie April 9, 2011, 9:41 PM


EvieHuber April 13, 2011, 11:55 PM

Yes its true that parents should ALWAYS watch their babies/kids while an animal is present. Don’t matter if its a cat, dog, bird, etc. Always watch your child while an animal is present.

But!! There are just some things beyond our parental reception… we can’t sense when an animal is feeling threatened or agitated, until its to late sometimes. And its not worth our child’s safety to gamble with their life… to not watch closely while animals are present in the room.

HOWEVER!! I will not say that its the parents fault completely when animals attack either. Parents can’t predict things, they can’t see the future. Every so often our backs are gonna turn, no matter if its for a second or a few mins…

And to all those animal lovers out there, I am a animal lover too. I have a cat who has been in mine and my husband’s life for over 3 years now. I adore him. We also had a dog who I loved so dearly and she passed away from old age. I know what its like to adore your pets, to call them your furry family. So believe me as I say this… I WILL NEVER pick the animal over a child, no matter if its my kid that gets hurt or if its my pet that did the attack.

An animal is not more important then the child! And if my dog killed or disfigured an innocent child/baby, I would never expect anything less then having to put my animal down. Its no joking matter. And if it were my baby that got killed or harmed I would expect the same action vice versa. Babies come first. As painful as it would be to put down the animal if it were mine, its what has to be done so no other person could be at risk for harm again. And if it can happen once, it can happen again; why risk it?

I know I must sound terrible; but as I have previously stated before, no animal comes before the innocent life of a child. Its not the baby/kid’s fault for the territorial instincts of the animal, or the aggression of the animal.

And someone must think of the child. If it were your child, what lengths would you go? If it were your precious little baby now dead or fatally wounded, how do you think you’d feel?? To be honest, I don’t think people could begin to fathom how they’d feel or do until its their baby in danger or in pain.

Anthony Didona April 14, 2011, 2:47 AM

In my life time I have been around 5 pits. I own a pit puppy now and my sister has a pit also. She has six kids living in her home. Her dog is the sweetest dog I have ever met, and would never attack anything. It actually got sent to the vet because it was attacked by a chihuaha and did not fight back. At any rate pits are great dogs, and should not get labeled as violent or mean because the owners did not know how to properly deal with this dog. They require special attention. In puppyhood you cant even think about hitting them you have to find other ways to discipline them. My puppy goes into a crate. Also children should not ever be left unsupervised with a pit until the dog develops a bond with the child and the child is old enough to know how to handle a dog. Also I dont care what that person said they had to do to unlatch that dogs mouth from their child with a hammer. This implies that they have locking jaws which is completely false. Sounds to me like there was some fluff added to that story. Lastly I am going to give yall a statistic. 47 of the 49 pits seized at Vicks compound were extensively evaluated and were all saved and adopted out. This just goes to show that even fighting pits are most of the time not aggressive towards people. So these cases seems like they are missing some serious details.

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