Despite the best efforts of pit bull advocates everywhere, the occasional horror story about a pit bull mauling still shows up here and there. This week has brought another tragic story, sadly ending with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was mauled by a pit bull while on a play date.
According to the Huffington Post, police have identified the 9-year-old girl as Amiyah Dunston from Baldwin, New York. She was in the backyard at a friend's house, playing with two other children when the pit bull appeared and attacked Amiyah. A neighbor tried to intervene, but was unable to rescue the girl from its jaws.
"The dog had the girl in its mouth like a rag doll," said the neighbor.
The mother who was hosting the play date heard Amiyah's screams and also ran out to fend off the pit bull from the 9-year-old, but was not successful. According to the New York Daily News, the woman had been supervising the play date outside, but went indoors to retrieve something. That short time away from the children was long enough for the pit bull to take the young girl's life.
The pit bull reportedly kept Amiyah Dunston in its teeth until Nassau County police arrived. At that point, the animal dropped the girl and charged at the officers. One of the cops fired off several rounds and killed the pit bull.
At this point, Amiyah was still alive. She was rushed to Franklin Hospital, but succumbed to her wounds a few hours later.
"We were sleeping, then we heard screaming," said Amrita Subkaran, a neighbor. "Then we heard three shots. A couple minutes after, we saw the paramedics bring out a stretcher with a kid. Her body was small."
Another neighbor tried to clean up the bloody scene and hide Amiyah's mauled body from other witnesses.
"I took my broom and tried to push it away. No parent wants to see what I saw."The attack was not a complete accident. The dog's owner, 29-year-old Carlyle Arnold, lives on the second floor of the house where the play date was taking place. According to his roommate Anthony Jett, the mother who was watching the kids is Carlyle's girlfriend.
According to Jett, the pit bull hadn't exhibited any signs of aggression before he killed the little girl.
"He was a good dog — that's what I don't understand. He was a beast because he was a pit, but he was very gentle. I would put my hand in his mouth, I'd pick him up under his armpits — he wouldn't bite. He was very gentle."Carlyle Arnold can be seen playing with the pit bull in the Facebook photo below. The dog's name was Kane.
Another neighbor agreed with Jett's assessment of the dog, claiming that he would occasionally bark at anyone who came onto the property, "but that was the extent of it. I never thought he would maul anybody."
The dog's owner was arrested at the scene of the pit bull attack, but strangely, it was for a different charge--violating an order of protection. So far, no charges have been filed in relation to the pit bull mauling.
"Amiyah was a phenomenal little girl who has touched many lives with her presence, smile and laughs," said the girl's step father.
This isn't the only recent pit bull attack. Just last month, two cousins were attacked by pit bulls in a 30-minute feeding frenzy. Despite all the pit bull maulings reported by the media, evidence suggests pit bulls are not actually an aggressive breed, and that aggression typically emerges as a result of circumstances.
[Photos provided by GoFundMe and Facebook]