Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA: A 6-year-old boy is dead after he was attacked by his family pet dog, a pitbull, at the family home in Lakemont. Blair County coroner, Patricia Ross, says the child died of blunt-force trauma from the dog attack that occurred just before 6 p.m. Thursday.
Rick Vaughan, a friend of the boy’s family who lives a few blocks away, said the boy died after the family dog attacked him just before 6 p.m. Thursday at a home on Gesser Avenue.
Vaughan spoke on behalf of the family and said the boy’s father was cutting grass, heard the mother screaming and rushed to find “the dog on the boy.”
Vaughan said the father “did what he had to” to get the dog off the child.
“It was already too late,” Vaughan said. Vaughan said he has known the boy’s father since they were young kids.
“His mother is taking it very, very hard,” the 32-year-old Vaughan said. “He passed away in her arms.”
The dog that mauled the boy is dead, and the family asked police to take a second dog from their home.
Logan Township police remained at the home on Gesser Avenue late Thursday and have not released the boy’s name.
In a similar incident, a pit bull went rogue and attacked its own family earlier this week in Florissant, Missouri.
The event occurred near sunset on Monday. The pit bull attacked all members of the family of four, three of whom — one adult and two teens — had to be taken to the hospital for their leg and arm injuries.
The family managed to barricade the dog in a room before the pit bull could strike another innocent person. Police eventually arrived and took the dog into custody, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The traumatized family — which had only owned the dog for a few months — told the authorities their dog was a pit bull. However, animal control tried to complicate the dog’s origins by saying it was a pit bull-bulldog mix — a common tactic among pit bull advocates.
The town of Florissant previously had a building ordinance banning pit bulls, but the city council voted to strike it down last year.
The family should be thankful nobody died in the attack. Last week, two pit bulls killed a 75-year-old woman in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her wrong move: she opened a fence gate.
A 75-year-old woman in Gulfport, Mississippi, was mauled to death by two pit bulls Wednesday morning.
Police quickly responded to a call from the woman’s neighbors who reported that she was being viciously attacked by the dogs. But the cops didn’t arrive in time to save the woman. She died from her wounds before an ambulance arrived on the scene.
The owner of the two pit bulls, 32-year-old Deidra Craft, has been arrested by police. This is not the first time Craft’s pit bulls have gotten in trouble. In 2017, her two dogs broke into a neighbor’s yard and attacked a golden retriever.
That incident resulted in a misdemeanor charge for Craft. No charges have yet been filed in the fatal mauling and both pit bulls have been surrendered to animal control.
Pit bulls were responsible for nearly two-thirds of all dog-bite fatalities in America from 2005-2017. There are numerous cases of the dog breed turning on their owners.
Last December, a Virginia woman who posted numerous photos of her two pit bulls online was found dead by police while her dogs chewed on her rib cage.