An 8-month-old girl in Florida has died after being bitten by a dog, authorities said.
The girl was at her grandmother’s house after her mother, Brenda Vallasin, dropped her infant daughter off there, reported the Miami Herald.
Several hours after she was dropped off on Wednesday morning, Vallasin received a phone call from a relative telling her something had happened to the little girl, Liana.
Vallasin sped from her job in Pompano Beach to the home of the grandmother in Miramar only to find her daughter had already passed away.
“I am numb right now,” said Villasin, 24. “She was the best thing to ever happen to me.”
A male pit bull, 3 or 4 years old, bit the little girl.
The baby was sitting on a bouncy chair in a bedroom when she was killed, Miramar police officers told WLPG.
The family at the home owned three pit bulls, all of which were removed by Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division.
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One neighbor believed that the dog made a crucial mistake.
“Children play and sometimes dogs don’t understand that,” Jackie Knapp said.
Dogsbite.org, which advocates for a ban on pit bulls, says that on average 33 people are killed each year by dogs in the United States. The website, which culls media reports and public records, says that two-thirds of the fatal attacks are committed by pit bulls.
A number of studies appear to support the claim that pit bulls are responsible for more attacks than any other breeds, such as a five-year review of dog-bite injuries from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that found almost 51 percent of the attacks were from pit bulls, with another 9 percent from Rottweilers and another 6 percent from mixes of those two breeds, reported Live Science.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, though, said that early experiences for dogs, including pit bulls, seem to lead to violence.
“Given the powerful impact of socialization, it’s no surprise that dogs that are chained outside and isolated from positive human interaction are more likely to bite people than dogs that are integrated into our homes,” the group stated.
“Unfortunately, pit bull type dogs that find themselves in these conditions may be at greater risk for developing aggressive behavior. But because these factors are ones that can be controlled by better-educated owners, it is possible to reduce these risks, not just in pit bulls but in dogs of all breeds,” it also said.
For her part, Vallasin said she doesn’t believe the breed had a role in the killing. “I still don’t feel any type of way about a pit bull,” she said.
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