Wilcox toddler attacked by family pet last week
By Carrie A. Mizell
By Carrie A. Mizell
A toddler who wondered away from his family’s mobile home in Wilcox last Thursday sustained critical injuries after being mauled by the family’s pet, a fawn colored pit bull mix they raised from a puppy.
The 6-year-old dog, which had reportedly just been fed, bit the child so severely on the face that the ShandsCare helicopter was called immediately to transport the child to Shands Hospital.
According to Major Tony Smith of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, both of the child’s parents, along with several other children were home at the time of the accident, which occurred at 4:16 p.m.
“No charges will be filed because it was just an accident,” Smith said. “Neglect is not involved.”
While conducting interviews at the scene, GCSO Investigator Eddie Merritt determined that the child wandered into the area where the dog was chained when the attack occurred. A neighbor heard the child screaming and ran towards the sound.
A family friend, the neighbor reportedly pulled the dog away from the child, who reportedly sustained significant injuries to his left eye.
Karan Fischer, acting supervisor of Gilchrist County Animal Control, was called to the scene and subsequently took the dog into custody. On Monday morning the dog was humanely euthanized.
“The dog was not current on its rabies vaccinations,” Fischer said.
Not only could the dog be aggressive in its own area, but it also showed aggressive behavior while at the county’s kennel, Fischer explained.
“The owner signed a release to do whatever was necessary with the dog,” Fischer said.
The acting supervisor of Animal Control said she came to the decision that the dog needed to be euthanized after talking with officials from the Gilchrist County Health Department, as well as investigators from GCSO. According to Fischer, the dog’s remains will be sent off for rabies testing.