7-Year-Old Fatally Mauled by 2 Pit Bulls in Tragic Accident

pit bull
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A family is coping with a tragic loss after a 7-year-old boy was killed by two pit bulls near his home in Lowell, Massachusetts, over the weekend. The boy, whose name has not been released by the Middlesex County District Attorney's office, entered a fenced area containing the dogs, where he was attacked. Multiple neighbors heard screaming and called 911. A crowd of onlookers watched helplessly as they waited for police to arrive, but it was too late.

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According to Fox 25, neighbors say the boy was playing with his older brother when the attack happened. It's unclear if the boy was trying to pet the dogs and was pulled over the fence into their enclosure or if he somehow fell in or was trying to climb in.

The recording of the dispatch call reveals that the dogs refused to halt their attack even once officers arrived on the scene and began shooting. 

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"Lowell. Shots fired," said an on-scene police officer who called into dispatch. "The dog's still coming at me." Then, "Lowell dog just jumped over the fence ... The dog's gone." Police pursued the animal and euthanized him. The other pit bull is being held by the department of animal control.

According to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, the investigation into the child's death is ongoing. So far no charges have been filed against either the boy's parents or the owner of the dogs. 

There's no question that the loss of a child is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances. But while some commenters wondered where the parents were when this boy was hurt, most people looked to blame the dog breed as the reason for the attack. 


Boston Globe.com


Boston Globe.com

Pit bulls are one of those hot-button issues where everyone has a strong opinion. And there is some proof that these dogs can be dangerous. According to a 2016 study by Dogbite.org, pit bulls were responsible for 71 percent of all dog bite fatalities that year. In fact, they caused seven times more deaths than the next deadliest breed.

But there are plenty of nasty dogs in the world that aren't pit bulls. And nice pit bulls do exist. Part of dogs' demeanors is how they're raised. Unfortunately, pit bulls are a breed commonly raised for illegal fighting, which may account for the bad reputation they get. In fact, in 2016 a study by Dognation of over 4,000 dog owners across 25 breeds found that Chihuahuas are actually more aggressive than pit bulls. 

Some argued that it's the owners that are to blame here for raising aggressive dogs, but that the entire breed shouldn't be under trial. 


Boston Globe.com

 
Boston Globe.com

My own cousin owns a gorgeous pure breed pit bull named Steele. Sure, I'm terrified of him, but most dogs make me nervous. There's no question Steele's a powerful animal. His tail has literally knocked me over just while wagging in a friendly way. And when he "plays" with other dogs, I woudn't want to be caught in the middle, because he's so big and strong. I never let my kids near him because they're not old enough to understand not to poke him in the eye or mouth or do something stupid like pull his tail. But when push comes to shove, I'd trust that pit bull not to bite me more than my mom's ancient, crotchety 15-year-old Jack Russell terrier.  

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In the end, nothing can give this family their little boy back. And regardless of how common pit bull bites are, any dog, when raised incorrectly, is a risk to a human life. This horrible incident is a tragic lesson to both parents and dog owners about the importance of keeping children safe around unfamiliar animals.

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