The lives of a northwest Las Vegas Valley family has been ripped apart after their pit bull attacked and killed their 6-month-old baby girl, identified as Kamiko Dao Tsuda-Saelee, while she was playing in her walker inside their home, Las Vegas Now reports.
“I have no words to explain my pain,” said the baby girl’s mother, Layla Tsuda, who is originally from Hawaii. The incident unfolded on Monday, May 8, after Tsuda, who was the only adult in the house at the time, said she left her baby, who was playing in her walker, alone with the family’s pit bull named Mana to use the lavatory.
When she returned, she was shocked to uncover that her pit bull was attacking her baby girl. Tsuda was able to stop the attack, but it was too late. After Kamiko was rushed to Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center with severe head injuries, she was pronounced dead.
Relatives were stunned after learning that the family’s pit bull attacked and killed the baby girl as the dog had been a component of the family for nine years, and Mana was considered a “good family pet.”
“It’s an absolute true tragedy,” said Las Vegas police officer Larry Hadfield. “Regardless of how trusting you are of animals, you have to make sure you are supervising. You have a family that’s going to be grieving for today and the rest of their lives.”
Dr. Richard Fujie, a veterinarian at King Street Pet Hospital, says that it is rare for a pet dog to attack a child because they realize that “children are special.” So, when there is an attack on a child, it is difficult to determine the cause.
“Like in humans, we all have different behaviors. Some are violent, some are passive. Dogs, the same thing too. In this situation, I have no idea what happened. It could be a sharp noise, loud noise that scared the dog… Supervision is always important. Staying with your child when the dog is around, keeping the child and dog separate until they’re older is important.”
The veterinarian says that families can train their pets to become more comfortable with newborns by executing the following steps:
- “Prepare the dog months before the baby is brought home
- Introduce your child slowly to your pet
- Keep the pet active and part of family activities
- Make sure no jealousy is involved.”
Fujie warns that any dog, not just pit bulls, can attack at any time. He went on to say that he “had a client who moved to California. They had a Maltese, rather aggressive dog. They had a new baby coming home. Small, white, fluffy, sweet dog. I guess it was very protective of the family, the couple.”
“The dog was trained in California and did not harm the newborn baby… Parents need to just train their dogs to be obedient and introduce a baby gradually to the dog.”
After the pit bull attacked and killed the baby, a county spokesperson stated that the pit bull could not be put up for adoption, so Mana had to be euthanized. Dog trainer and behaviorist Mark Gibson stated that “the dog may have had no malice whatsoever toward the baby. But it just got so rough with it that it was having a fun time chomping and biting and the baby was killed because of it.”
Relatives created a GoFundMe page on Tuesday to help raise $10,000 for “medical bills and funeral expenses” for Kamiko. Thus far, the family has surpassed the anticipated amount, reaching over $12,000 in donations.
Authorities are considering the fatal pit bull attack on the 6-month-old baby girl an accident, and the parents will not be facing any criminal charges.
[Featured Image by Mario Cales/Shutterstock]