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Police: Infant dies in apparent dog attack in SE Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Police are investigating an infant's death on the southeast side of Grand Rapids, apparently caused by an attack by a family dog.

Grand Rapids police say they were called to a home in the 1100 block of Kalamazoo Avenue SE at about 6 p.m. Thursday night.  The three-week-old girl was left alone in the house with three pitbulls for about five minutes until a caretaker checked on her, according to police. When the woman checked on the infant, she had a severe head injury, one of the dogs was nearby with blood around its mouth, and she immediately called 911.

"This is a horrible tragedy, and it serves as a critical reminder to never leave a child unattended around a dog, or dogs, or pets," said Sgt. Terry Dixon with the GRPD. "Always keep a watchful eye on our vulnerable youth."

The child was taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital then underwent nearly seven hours of surgery and died before 2 a.m.

Dixon says the dog who likely attacked is about two-years-old, and is quarantined as well as the two other family dogs at the Kent County Animal Shelter.

"Just the breed of a pitbull by itself is not enough to condemn it, any dog can bite something, they have teeth," said Dixon. "I would say that this serves as a definite reminder not to leave children alone with dogs in the house."

The GRPD and Child Protective Services are investigating. Dixon says they will give their investigation to the Kent County Prosecutor to review and consider any possible criminal charges.

"Right now no one is being charged; however, all the facts will be gathered and we’ll sit down with the Kent County Prosecutor’s office to determine if any charges should be levied," said Dixon.

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  • steve

    Any adults in that house need to be quarantined as well. Any responsible adult of normal intelligence would never allow that to happen. Sick.

  • J.B.

    “The three-week old child had apparently been left alone in the house with three pitbulls, according to police.”

  • pitbullaware

    The selfish sick pit bull breeder who invented the insane nickname “nanny dog” in the 1970s, in order to sell more pits, is partially responsible for this and other similar horrors.

    Dog fighters are more honest. They never say nanny dog, instead they describe pits saying : “always be prepared for a pit to attack, pits are supposed to be GLADIATOR s , the warriors of the dog world.”

    “You can talk the dog out of the fight but you can’t take the fight out of the dog.”

    “Good game insane pits kill or die trying.”

    Who needs the pit’s deadly traits to go from playing to slaying, from kissing to killing?
    Dog fighters do!

    And they truly appreciate all the support they receive from Best Friends HSUS ASPCA. If these groups would support BSL, dog fighters would be out of business.

  • Marsha

    Never, never leave Pitbulls unsupervised. My son was attach by his dads dogs just because he turned on battery operate rough rider which is small toy.

  • Jason Lee

    Let me save all of the pit nutters the trouble:
    “It’s all about how you raise them”
    “Blame the owner, not the breed”
    “Pits are less aggressive than chihuahuas”
    “The media treats pits unfairly”
    “I know a guy whose sister has a pit and it’s really nice”
    “They’ll lick you to death LOL”
    “ATTS Test!!!.”

    There, does that just about cover all of your BS lies?
    Did ANY of that help bring this poor child back to life?

    • Albaby

      They’re soley responsible for over 85% of dog caused human deaths and are the favorite pet of drug dealers and other criminals.

    • Eddie Lambert

      Any adult whose pittbull kills a child should go to prison for at least 20 years! That poor baby what a terrible way to die. You can’t fix stupid amoung the pittbull lovers.

  • Sara

    But isn’t it interesting the Pit Bull pushers and rescue in this country proclaim ever so loudly they are ‘Nanny Dogs’. Actually lying to and misleading the public despite it being factually wrong. Some people genuinely buy this.

    • Osono

      Those nanny dog lie pushers have blood on their hands, people fall for their lies and pay with their lives. Fighting breeds do not belong in family homes!

      • steve thomas

        If people stopped buying them, breeders would stop supplying them. The dogs don’t sell themselves. The blame ultimately lies at the feet of humans. Not the animals.

  • Jay Mac

    This Sgt Dixon is a fool. Let me guess – he has a pit bull at home.
    If his nonsense was really true for all breeds then we’d have thousands and thousands of dead babies across the nation killed by their pets. We don’t.

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