Toddler Mauled to Death by Her Family’s 7 Pet Pit Bulls

pit bullA 21-month-old was mauled to death by seven dogs in the front yard of her family's coastal Georgia home Wednesday evening. It's unclear how the toddler got into the yard -- the girl's grandmother was looking after her but had fallen asleep. Apparently, Grandma awoke to a commotion outside and allegedly saw the attack take place through a window. The family had nine dogs all together but it was the seven pit bulls who killed the young child. They were euthanized on Thursday.

There's a lot of heated debate about pit bulls and whether or not they're inherently, genetically dangerous -- a nature versus nurture argument is frequently brought up.

I personally believe that they're raised to be killers, not born killers; that they're only vicious if they're taught to be so and encouraged to be so. But seven dogs all of the same breed, pit bull or not, will incite a pack mentality, which can be threatening and harmful. So why did this family have seven pit bulls?

Unfortunately, there aren't any details as to the reason the family had so many dogs, or why their pets were particularly violent, and why they were left out in the yard, but one detail is certain: a toddler is dead.

As of now, it's unknown if charges will be filed against the parents, but if it's discovered that they had the dogs for fighting purposes, that they supported and aided these dogs in the pursuit of violence, then yes, I would say if that's the case, then Mom and Dad should be held accountable, on some level, for their daughter's death. If the dogs were raised to be cruel, isn't that endangering their child?

As for Grandma, she might faces charges, as well.

I think there should be consequences for this baby's death but thankfully, I'm not the one who has to decide what those should or shouldn't be. It seems like a preventable tragedy and I can't imagine how much pain the family is experiencing right now.

What a horrifying way to die.

What do you think?


Photo via mccoy77/Flickr

crime, death


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miche... micheledo

How awful for everyone.  :(

Honestly, a pack of dogs and a small child makes me extremely uncomfortable.  We had a neighbor with a little pug, a pit bull, and a lab.  The dogs came to our yard constantly.  My husband observed some 'pack mentality' when he was out alone at night.  It made him nervous.  

They were the sweetest dogs individually.  And the pit bull was a pup that just wanted to be loved on.  But they TERRIFIED me with our children.  The kids were afraid of them, and they would run up to the kids and knock them down.

But - I just imagined my child, knocked to the ground, kicking and screaming.  There was NO guarantee that those dogs would stay sweet and puppy like.  We eventually called the police because the dogs would not leave our yard and we were scared for the safety of our children (though they were friendly dogs). 

I guess, my point is, I don't think it is a good idea to have a lot of dogs and a young child.  Too many possibilities and dangers.  They are animals.

2nino... 2ninos4me

i love animals but pit bulls arent family dogs and EVERY ONE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT BY NOW !

that poor baby :( yay for those parents whose daughter had a loving passing ! .... NOTTTTTTT !

they should be charged and rot in hell !

as for that grandma ? well , she shoudlnt have fallen asleep . she shoudl have tried everything and anything to stay awake !


Lilia920 Lilia920

Um pit bulls are great family dogs. Our pit bull was so tolerant and loving to our toddler till he passed away this past winter. I trusted our dog with our son. Even when he was dying of cancer he never attacked our son. Being a toddler he was a little rough with our dog sometimes, but he still had a lot of patience. My son has never been bitten by a pit bull only a chihuahua has bitten him.

nonmember avatar mel

... The issue here is also the breeding of pit bulls. I know a lot of people are all for pit bulls and say its all in how you raise them... But I don't believe that is the full truth. I say this because I know someone who was a breeder. Because of the irresponsible breeding of pit bulls , we have aggression and other issues passed through genetics. Most pitbulls were not bred with responsibility and meant to be a family a dog(sadly). So most people who breed have NO clue how to breed pitbulls correctly- or cant afford the dog that will breed the best happiest puppies.
They have been domesticating foxes through breeding only the tamest sweetest foxes for decades. Now they actually have very expensive (not wild) domesticated 'pet' foxes. So you can see if we can breed tame into a fox we can certainly do a lot of unintentional damage to the genetic pool of pit bulls by not being responsible breeders. That is how a nice family pit bull can snap and maul a child- genetics are so important in the behavior. It should be 'bred' into the animal to be a ''nanny dog'' like it once was... Now we have all types of people getting non ideal dogs to breed dangerous time bombs... not in the best interest in the breed. I am not saying just because a dog has bad or aggressive genetics means it will be dangerous. It just means there is more of a risk and danger.

Katy Khan

Yes Lilia, every pit bull is a 'great family dog' until its suddenly not.

nonmember avatar Lexi jordan

@katykahn that can be said for any dog. Pitbulls ARE great pets if you train them and stimulate them. Most owners do not realize that pitbulls need an very large amount of exercise and mental stimulation!! It makes me sick how people stereotype dogs! I agree this is so tragic, but any type of dog in a large pack would have that pack mentality! There may have been one bad dog in the bunch but all breeds of dogs are still animals & they will attack if there is bloodshed!

shade... shade.lotus

2ninos4me. you realize that back in the day the pit bull breed were called the "Nanny" pets right? just the same i grew up around 4 pure breed pit bulls when i was very little and not one time did any of them nip at me or anyone else for that matter. in fact they were the sweetest dogs ive ever known in my life, cocker spaniels are more aggressive than some pits. also ALL dogs are linked to wolves in some form, they have a pack mentality yes, and the owners may not have trained them to be mean like that, however the owners shouldnt display any anger towards anyone else in the presence of any animals. they pick up on that. im sad that this happened to a small child thats unfortunate. but placing sole blame on the animal is not fair at all. maybe, and im not saying this is what should have happened in reaction to, but maybe the child did something to piss off the dog. i have a 2 year old and 3 cocker spaniels in the home. and ill admit right here right now that my son does things to piss off the dogs. example just the other day my son yanked on my cocker spaniels ear(she had a wicked bad ear infection) and it was tender and it hurt. she didnt bite him or even nip, but she did turn and bump hus hand with her nose as a warning and my son let go. now these dogs may not have given warning, and because granny was napping no one will ever really know what happened. but how dare you place sole blame on the dog. you dont know all the factors to the equation.

R.I.P. little baby.

Lilia920 Lilia920

Well my pit bull was a great family dog for 10 years. He was your sterotypical 85 lb monstrous dog. However he was the sweetest dog. Pit bulls are not as horrible as everyone makes them to be. The problem with this breed of dog is stupid owners. Why did they have 7? Why was the grandma sleeping? How did the poor toddler get outside? It's horrible that this happened to this toddler. However, my toddler wasn't mauled by our pit bull because we trained him properly. He was around other children and he never attempted to bite them. Our toddler constantly pulled on his ears and tail our dog never retaliated.

Craft... CraftyJenna

First, I'd like to know what breed these dog really were, because "pit bull" is a lump term for any breed of bulldog. Second, why in the world did they have 9 dogs? Were they breeding them? Ifghting them? Because there is no way to have that many and be taking care of them all the way that dogs should be cared for. A well raised dog will not attack anyone. A pack of dogs is like a mob of people- a person might never be violent or cause public unrest but an incited mob of people will. That poor baby. 

bandg... bandgeek521

Thank you so much for questioning why they had so many animals, and what conditions could have led to the behavior, instead of just blaming the breed itself. I know it is a heartbreaking tragedy that this poor child is dead. But victimizing a whole breed won't bring her, and it is so refreshing seeing someone writing about something like this without bias. So, again, thank you. And my thoughts are with her family.

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