An 18-month-old baby boy in Phoenix has died from injuries sustained from a dog attack on Friday. Fire officials have been called to the scene when it happened around 1:20 p.m. at 1900 block of E. Sunland, reports stated.
On Friday night, the victim was later identified as MJ Raya. According to a report from Phoenix Police, Raya’s grandmother was looking after him while she was doing laundry. She put down the baby and opened the door, and that’s when the Rottweiler went inside the room where the boy was.
The dog then grabbed the tot and dragged him out of the house, the police reported. Raya’s grandmother tried to fight off the dog and take away the baby, but she failed. Officials said that the dog was still attacking the baby when the police arrived, ABC 15 reported. That’s when a police officer had to shoot the dog to stop the attack.
“When officers arrived, they went inside and could see the dog had physical control of the child and was injuring the child,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said.
“At that moment, the sergeant fired one round at the animal and was able to divert attention from the child,” Fortune continued.
Raya was able to reach the hospital to supposedly get treatment for serious injuries. Unfortunately, the little boy didn’t make it. It was later confirmed that the dog, a Rottweiler, was a family dog that belonged primarily to Raya’s father, fire officials said.
“Obviously it’s sad all the way around, you have a family pet and a child, there’s just no way to spin this around,” Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix Fire Department told ABC 15.
“It’s hard when you see a child in that much trauma…our crews are being de-briefed right now with our crisis team, this is a call that will obviously stay with them forever.”
Authorities contacted Maricopa County Animal Care & Control to take care of the dog. The Rottweiler was taken to the shelter where it was euthanized, as requested by the family. The dog will also be tested for rabies on Monday, Melissa Gable, spokeswoman for the animal care and control said, according to AZ Central’s report.
Carolyn Lowery, the family’s neighbor, told the publication that she hopes people won’t pass judgment over what happened to MJ.
“Don’t be too hard on them because things happen,” Lowery said.
Lowery knows the family and said that the grandmother is a caring person and she’ll surely be traumatized over what happened. She also hopes that the recent dog attack in Phoenix will serve as a reminder to all dog owners to watch over their pets, especially when small children are around.
In related news, two bulldogs attacked a 70-year-old woman in Alexander City on Thursday, according to a report. The woman had puncture wounds and severe bites that necessitated a hospital stay.
According to the Alexander City Outlook, the dog attack lasted for over half an hour. The city’s animal control officer Scott Wright described to the Outlook that the attack was the worst he has seen. It was unprovoked, yet the mauling continued for more than 30 minutes. The dogs, which were owned by the woman’s son, were put down after the attack.
There have been 31 dog bite-related fatalities in the U.S. from last year, according to DogsBite.org, with pit bulls contributing to seventy-one percent of the deaths. Pit bulls and Rottweiler’s contributed to the 77 percent of total deaths recorded last year.
It remains to be seen why the dogs in the reports attacked family members, but according to dog behavior expert Angie Woods, dogs do that when they don’t know how to respond to things or children. Woods, who has worked with dogs all her life, said that she wouldn’t ever leave a child with a dog. These canine companions may be trusted but they have teeth, and they can bite anytime.
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