Kara Hartich was described by her mother as a “happy little girl who loved to sing and dance.” But, sadly, after only four years of life, on Friday Kara died of massive blood loss after being attacked at home by at least two of the family’s dogs.
The family owns three adult Pit Bulls, all of whom were inside on the main floor of the two-story home in Bloomington, Illinois, reports Pantagraph.com. Kara’s grandmother was babysitting Kara and her two-year-old sister when Kara told her that one of the dogs “hurt her,” County Coroner Beth Kimmerling told reporters.
The woman tried to get Kara away from the pack of dogs—two unneutered males and a female—but the Pit Bulls turned their attention on her and she then focused on protecting the younger child, she said.
The grandmother was not physically injured by the dogs.
Emergency rescue workers were called at 5:10 p.m. and treated Kara at home before taking her to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in nearby Normal. She died in the emergency room at 5:50 p.m.
McLean County Coroner Kimmerling said Kara had injuries to her head, neck and arms from the dog attack.
The Pit Bulls are impounded under a state-mandated 10-day observation by McLean County Animal Control. Authorities believe the males are responsible for the attack. The dogs’ vaccination and registration status remains under review, they said.
During the quarantine, McLean County Animal Control staff and the county’s veterinarian will watch the dogs for changes in behavior, said Kera Brossette, spokeswoman for the McLean County Health Department. Unless the owners want the dogs euthanized, their future will be determined by the city of Bloomington, and eventually the courts.
The funeral announcement for little Kara Elizabeth Hartrich says, “She brought happiness and joy to everyone around her. Her amazing sense of humor and warm heart touched the lives of many.”
The family lives on Parker Avenue, a street of two-story houses with fenced yards, swing-sets and minivans in a subdivision named for streets in the Monopoly game, Julie Gerkel of Pantagraph.com describes. She writes that many homes had their porch lights still lit mid-day Saturday.
The McLean County Health Department investigated 559 cases of animal bites or suspected rabies in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available.
Illinois ranks second in the nation for dog bite claims, according to an annual report by State Farm Insurance Co., which received 337 bite claims in Illinois in 2012.