Two small children in Tennessee are dead after being mauled to death by the family's two pit bulls, according to police.
Around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, two pit bulls viciously attacked a 2-year-old girl, a 5-month-old boy, and their mother inside their home in Millington, Tennessee, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
The toddler and the baby were pronounced dead at the home near Memphis.
The family's dogs also attacked the children's mother. She was rushed to Regional One in critical condition by Shelby County Fire paramedics. As of Thursday afternoon, the mother was upgraded to stable condition, according to detectives.
"The two pit bulls responsible for the attack were euthanized this afternoon by Memphis Animal Services," the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The investigation into the dog attack deaths is ongoing at this time.
The names of the victims have yet to be released.
Marlo Matthews – a longtime dog-breeder – gave WREG-TV his opinion about pit bulls, "I know how loyal they can be. I know how loving they can be, but I also know how dangerous they can be."
"You are playing with your life when you have those in your house," he claimed. "Something may never happen, but when it does, will you then be like I should have got rid of this problem."
There are more than 4.5 million people bitten by dogs in the United States each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Nearly 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DogsBite.org – a national dog bite victim's advocacy group – found that 568 Americans were killed by dogs from 2005 to 2020. Pit bulls were reportedly responsible for 67% of those deaths.
There have been 20 fatal dog bite attacks so far in 2022.
Time magazine reported in 2014, "Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal-cruelty prevention."
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