Merced County Boy has died After Pit Bull Attack

October 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 17 month old Delhi boy was killed when mauled by a pit bull. It occurred at the home of the child's babysitter. Merced County Detectives say it appears the child went from the house into the backyard while the babysitter was in the bathroom. That's where this dog a 70 pound pit bull mix was waiting.Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin described what happened, "The dog attacks the toddler and unfortunately starts dragging the toddler around the backyard. The babysitter sees this, tries to call 911 grabs a barbecue fork, a two prong barbecue fork tries to fend off the pit bull."

The babysitter got the child away from the dog, called 911 and jumped in her car to drive the bleeding child to the hospital.

"And this is when a deputy sees her, pulls her over and is literally handed this blood soaked 17 month old toddler," said Pazin.

The child was airlifted to a Turlock Hospital, then to Children's Hospital in Madera County. It's the second pit bull attack in the town of Delhi this month. Three weeks ago a woman was mauled by a pit bull while walking her dog.

In 2005 Pit bulls were responsible for the death of a five year old Fresno boy, Tyler Babcock. His death sparked calls for a ban on pit bulls ... that didn't happen because of political pressure by groups representing pit bull owners.

Supporters of the breed like animal trainer Tricia Smith of Sanger, maintain despite these tragic attacks, the dogs aren't the problem.

"We cannot just blame it on the breed. I don't want to take away from the horrible thing that has happened to the family, to the community, as a whole. I am devastated, I know our organization is, but we cannot blame it on these dogs." Smith said.

But Sherriff Pazin has a different view, "These are rugged, vicious animals that just that quickly can snap."

The dog is being held at the Merced County Animal Shelter, and could be destroyed. The District Attorney's office will evaluate the evidence to decide if charges should be filed in connection with the child's death.



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