Four-year-old Javon Dade, Jr., was mauled to death by at least one of his father’s six dogs on Wednesday morning in the Goulds area of Miami-Dade County, Florida, CBS4 reports.
Both the father and his girlfriend were reportedly at home during the time of the attack.
Neighbors told CBS4 that the boy was staying with his father, Javon Dade, Sr. in the home and that at least two of the dogs kept in the yard were very aggressive.
“They always bark so we try to keep them away because they’re pit bulls,” neighbor Janet Howard told CBS4.
Police state that they received a call shortly after 10:00 a.m. that Javon Dade, Jr., was missing. They responded to the home at 12301 SW 28th Court, and then began to canvass the neighborhood.
They found the dead body of a 4-year-old male badly mauled and surrounded by a pack of dogs in the yard, said police spokesperson Detective Robyn Pinkard.
“Miami-Dade Animal Services said three of the dogs are adults and three are puppies and that all are “terrier mixes” except the aggressive male pit bull. DNA tests are being done to determine how many were involved in the attack on Javon.
BOY’S FATHER FINED FOR UNLICENSED DOGS; INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
Javon Dade, Sr, has been fined $1,040 by Miami-Dade Animal Services because none of the dogs had a rabies shot or was licensed. The adult male dog definitely identified as a pit bull cannot be licensed because it is illegal to own in Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Herald reports.
Later Wednesday, police were interviewing Javon Dade Sr., reportedly to determine whether negligence was involved in the death of his son.
Police told the Miami-Herald that the State Attorney would make the decision on whether any criminal charge would be filed.
“The dogs are currently be evaluated by the veterinary team,” MDAS Director Kathleen Labrada said. She added that, although all the dogs are at the shelter, they are being held in protective custody and not available to be adopted or released to their owners pending results of the investigation.
The dogs “appeared to be in fair condition,” she said.
The agency is assisting Miami-Dade police in the investigation and trying to match the bite wounds to the dogs in order to determine how many and which of the dogs is responsible for the death of the child.
If one or more of the dogs is confirmed to be responsible, it/they will be destroyed, according to Labrada.
FATHER TOLD BY LANDLORD TO GET RID OF THE DOGS
Animal Services said they never had any previous calls about these dogs or the owners; however, the landlord said Javon Dade’s father had only lived at the three-bedroom, two-bath rental home for a little over two months.
“They snuck the dogs on the property,” Kenneth Narbin told CBS4 by phone.
Narbin said he warned his tenants a week ago to remove the dogs or face eviction and that he was giving them seven days.
Ironically, it was on the seventh day that Javon Dade, Jr., was killed, according to CBS4.