This is cross posted from MPBP Pitbull Community Forum
3-year-old fatally mauled by dog
By Suevon Lee
A 3-year-old girl was killed late Saturday afternoon after it was attacked by a pit bull that was chained to a tree outside her home, sheriff’s officials said.
The child was unresponsive when emergency personnel arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m., officials said. The attack occurred at 6540 NE 25th Avenue in Oak, just outside Ocala city limits, at a property marked “Haaker’s Dream Bulldog Ranch.”
According to Jenifer Fisher, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, the child’s mother was cleaning the dog pen and the 3-year-old was playing in the yard outside the pen area. The mother went inside the home to use the restroom, at which point the child somehow wandered into the pen, where it became entangled in a chain harnessing one of four pit bulls, Fisher said. One of the dogs, a male, then attacked the child.
Each of the American pit bulls, registered at the American Kennel Club, was chained to a separate tree inside the pen, Fisher said.
“It was a bad dog attack,” Fisher said.
It wasn’t clear whether the door to the pen was unlatched, or how the child managed to get inside the area housing the pit bulls. The mother did not immediately see the child when she came back outside. She suffered a minor injury on one of her fingers when she entered the pen and neared the animal.
Marion County Animal Services took possession of all four pit bulls, even though only one is believed to have been involved in the attack.
The pitbulls, white to beige in color, were driven off the property by Animal Services, two in each vehicle, caged in separate holding areas in the back of the van.
If the dog involved in the attack is deemed “vicious” following an investigation, it will be euthanized, said Elaine Deiorio, an Animal Services representative. A fifth pit bull, a puppy, was inside the home at the time and will not be taken into possession.
While authorities are not releasing the name of the child, the mother’s name is Lori Haaker, age 47. Another child, in his early teens, was inside the residence during the attack, Fisher said. The father and three other children were not home.
The property is buffered by a large yard surrounded by a fence. A two-lane road is in front of the yard. There is a trailer behind the property, which the owners rent out to another individual, according to Fisher.
The parents breed and shows pitbulls, according to Fisher. The Web site for Haaker’s Dream Bulldog Ranch indicates the club raises and shows bulldogs. Thomas Lamon, a neighbor, said he recalls the Haakers holding dog shows in their yard. He does not know the family personally, he said. The home, Lamon said, was occupied by former County Commissioner Randy Harris nearly a decade ago.
The Major Crimes unit of the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the child’s death. An assistant medical examiner was also on scene to determine the exact cause of death.
Family members and friends arrived on the property as darkness set in. They hugged one another and declined to provide any comment. The sound of dogs barking could be heard near the property as the night wore on.
Local news station in Tampa that we are trying to contact to get them to correct the misleading information
Toddler mauled to death by dog at breeding facility - Bay News 9
Also on MSNBC
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"These are NOT Pit bull terriers they are AMERICAN BULLDOGS and this error needs corrected. The pit bull community would appreciate you checking your facts before helping to promote a stereotype that we are trying hard to fight. It is because of this type of nonfactual reporting that this breed is suffering its unearned reputation. "
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