The death of a 1o-month-old in North Carolina from a dog mauling this week marks the second time within the last two months this breed has killed an infant in the United States.
The Virginian-Pilot reports the incident occurred Tuesday in Hertford, N.C. where the boy, James Hudson, was reportedly in his grandmother's care. She said although the mixed-breed dog never showed aggression toward the baby, it had previously bitten an older child.
WAVY.com reported that family and police identified the dog as a "pit bull mix" but the shelter officials called it a "Labrador-American Bulldog mix."
The Virginian-Pilot describes grandmother Terry Atkinsson visibly distraught while sharing details of the events. Atkinsson said she and other children were in another room when the incident occurred. She said she tried to get the dog away from the infant but was hurt herself in the process.
WAVY TV-10 has the boy's grandfather, Kent Bowser's, account:
"There was screaming going on," said Bowser. "I was kind of in shock myself. Even though I saw what was going on, I still couldn't put together in my head what was going on."
Bowser helped carry the baby to the front porch where family members tried to put bandages on the baby's wounds.
"We prayed to God the whole time we was doing it." said Bowser, fighting back tears.
Watch the report:
A neighbor of the family, James Thatch, told the Virginian-Pilot, that although the family is nice "that dog has got to go," based on what he has seen of the dog's actions on numerous accounts.
WAVY reports the family finding the dog -- Copper -- on the streets two years ago and adopting him. According to the Virginian-Pilot, following a standard 10-day waiting period Copper could be put down.
Bowser said he hopes other families can learn from this incident.
"If you have children and you have animals, make sure you totally understand the relationship you have with your animals and your pets," Bowser said according to WAVY. "Go with your gut. If your gut tells you something ain't right. Just go with your gut."
A similar incident occurred in July, where a baby was killed by pit bull terriers in San Diego, Calif.
The CDC states that 4.7 million dog bite incidents happen each year and cites children age 5 to 9 as the most vulnerable. DogsBite.org states pit bulls killed 52 Americans from 2006 to 2008 and account for 59 percent of fatal attacks. Steven Hume for the Vancouver Sun points out in his editorial regarding recent dog attacks occurring in Canada recently that "it is the dog AND the owner" that are the problem, but he notes several statistics linking pit bulls with a tendency to be more violent.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
This story has been updated to reflect that the shelter in North Carolina identified the dog as Labrador-American bull dog mix, although the police and family members called it a pit bull mix.