A baby boy in the United Kingdom died in the hospital about one month after he was mauled by his family’s Staffordshire bull terriers, which are quite similar to pit bulls.
Pit bulls are illegal to own in the U.K., but Staffordshire bull terriers are not, although the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) classifies them as pit bulls. Other dogs that are banned include Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and the Fila Brasileiro.
Reuben McNulty, who was two months old, was attacked in the early hours of Nov. 18, according to reports. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries to his head, but he succumbed to his injuries at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on Dec. 12, police told The Times of London.
The Terriers were owned by his parents, Dan McNulty and Amy Litchfield, and they have since been euthanized. The couple was arrested on suspicion of child neglect and released on bail, reported the Daily Mail.
Little Reuben was only two months old. RIP ❤️
A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified told the Times that his parents are “in bits; they’re devastated.”
Paul, the father of Litchfield, told The Sun that the attack in their home in Yaxley was a “freak accident,” adding that McNulty and his daughter were good parents.
“They’re not going to be here for months now because that kid is not good bless him,” the father told the publication of the parents. “Even the parents are in a bad way. At the end of the day it’s just a big freak accident and everyone’s making a big thing of it.”
He added: “They’ve done nothing wrong and the way it’s being portrayed at the minute, they’re horrible parents.” He again reiterated that they’re not bad parents.
“If they were horrible parents they wouldn’t be sitting with that young lad now. People need to realize there’s always two sides to the story. The thing is there’s a lot at stake here for everybody, not just them, for us as well, as family,” Paul continued.
But the neighbor, who was not named, said he told McNulty to be careful around the two dogs, Fizzy and Dotty.
“He (Dan) was showing people his new baby because he was so proud of it,” he told The Sun. “When he showed me the pictures, I said be careful because those dogs might not be used to the baby.”
The neighbor insisted: “I know what dogs are like when they get jealous. He said I will do. He said, ‘Me and Amy were thinking about that anyway.’”
Difference Between Staffordshire and a Pit Bull
Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terrier, America bully, and American Staffordshire terriers are closely related dogs and are generally called just called pit bulls.
According to the Pit Bull Rescue Central, “First, it is important to know that Staffordshire Terrier and ‘Pit Bull’ are not official breeds, but rather common terms used to describe a certain type of dog. There are actually many dog breeds that can be easily confused and are often mistakenly referred to as Pit Bulls.” It goes on to list the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and Staffordshire bull terrier.
“How can we tell the difference? We can’t, really. We can only try to guess the breed based on subtle characteristics. Note that even experts can’t always tell if a Pit Bull is an APBT, an AST or a SBT. Even with DNA testing, many known purebred dogs come up with results of mixed breed lineage. For the average Pit Bull owner, however, these distinctions are not really relevant. As a general rule, dogs of these breeds tend to have stable and loving temperaments,” the website says