A five-year-old tornado survivor killed in a dog attack in a family friend’s home died Sunday at an Arkansas hospital after he was set upon by a 150 pound bullmastiff.
The tornado survivor killed was taken to Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs, near where he and his two-year-old sister were staying after a tornado devastated the family’s home in Moore, Oklahoma.
Police have not yet publicly named the tornado survivor killed in Arkansas, but Garland County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Hinojosa said the family was understandably heartbroken and distraught after the boy’s death.
Hinojosa said: “To me, it’s heartbreaking … I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter. You can’t imagine what this family and friends are going through right now.”
The children were staying with family friend Linda Geiling, 50, at the time of the attack, and police say the boy had been crying, which may have upset the dog and precipitated the attack.
The sheriff’s deputy added:
“The child was putting on some shoes and was crying and upset … The dog possibly took that as being aggressive and at that time the child was attacked.”
According to police, the dog escaped after the fatal attack, and has been on the loose since Sunday.
NBC quotes a bullmastiff source as saying that the breed can be prone to attack when unattended:
“Never leave a child unattended with your Bullmastiff … They are pack animals and will find their natural place in the pack if left to natural processes. That place may be at the top of the pecking order instead of below younger family members if left unchecked.”
The parents of the tornado survivor killed in Jessieville had been rebuilding the family’s home, one of many leveled during the tornadoes in Oklahoma last month.