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Girl killed by three family dogs in Thomasville

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

January 6, 2009

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A 5-year-old girl was killed by her family's pitbull dogs in Thomasville.

Monday evening in the confines of a fence marked with a sign "Beware of Dog," three dogs attacked and killed one of their owners, five-year-old Chyenne Peppers.

Neighbors didn't want their names or faces on camera but said they heard the shouting in her backyard at 105 Executive Drive.

"I heard some screaming and carrying on and I just assumed they were out playing," says the woman.

The Peppers own three pit bulls. Animal control says one was roaming loose in the yard, the other two were chained up.

"The child was possibly playing on the trampoline. The female dog who was pregnant possibly started the attack on the child," says Assistant Commander Melvin Johnson with the Thomasville Police Department.

The two other pit bulls were close behind her. They broke free of their chains and joined in on the attack of the helpless little girl.

"You need to remember that a dog is a dog and its going to act like a dog especially in a pack situation and that's what these animals did," says Executive Director of the Thomas County Humane Society Carol Jones.

"The dogs attacked pretty much the complete body," says Johnson.

Police say Chyenne's mother, stepdad, and sister were in the house when she was attacked. but when they realized what happened, it was too late. She died at Archbold Memorial Hospital shortly after.

"In talking with the humane society they have received several calls in the past that they had gotten out and there had been some complaints the dogs had attacked a neighbors pet in the past," says Johnson.

The Peppers family turned their dogs over to Animal Control to be euthanized. But any criminal charges in the child's death..are still up in the air.

"That determination has not been made whether if someone will or will not be charged," says Johnson.

"I just want to remind people they need to be cautious of their family pets. They can turn on you at any time, and it doesn't matter what kind of dog. You think they are wonderful. You don't think your dog would do anything like that but believe me they will," said Jones.

A reminder that one family heard too late.

An autopsy will be done on Chyenne Peppers' body Wednesday in Atlanta.

Animal Control workers remind you that dogs sometimes mistake children as prey or a threat because they have high pitched voices and often make sudden fast movements. Feedback

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