Jeremiah Rutledge, father of two-year-old Beau, a toddler killed by the family’s pet 8-year-old Pit Bull on April 24, spoke out for the first time on Thursday to WSBTV about coping with the tragedy of losing his son. He said that his deep faith in God is what has pulled him through.
“How do I go from a birth certificate to a death certificate?” Rutledge asked, in the interview on WSBTV.
He also gave a stern warning about having Pit Bulls around small children, “Those dogs cannot be domesticated. They cannot,” Rutledge said.
For those who wish to argue that attacks by Pit Bulls can all be blamed on the owner training the dog to be mean, read below about how Angela and Jeremiah made their eight-year-old Pit Bull part of the family. The dog lived in the house with them and their baby son and was socialized during walks through the community every evening.
Jeremiah probably was unaware that on the same day as he was providing his sage and passionate advice on WSBTV, another family Pit Bull severely mauled a two-day-old baby in Coffeyville, Kansas. Police said the infant was “seriously injured,” according to Coffeyville Police Chief.
There were major differences in the two attacks. Little Beau Rutledge had been raised with the family’s Pit Bull in a home where both were loved and treasured. The two-day-old baby was attacked “near a dog pen on the property,” according to the Coffeyville Police Chief.
In the Rutledge home, according to reports, there was only one dog—considered the family’s pet and companion. In Coffeyville, the police chief says there were five pit bulls at the location, and two have been put down after the mauling of the infant, according to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution.
Neighbors agreed in statements regarding the tragic death of Beau that Jeremiah Rutledge was a good and responsible dog owner. The dog was in good condition, was always walked on leash, and was friendly with children and adults in the community. The dog did not appear to be neglected or abused in any manner and did not live at the end of a lonely chain in an even lonelier backyard.
Few facts have been made public about the attack on the tiny baby girl in Kansas or the Pit Bull(s) involved in the attack, except that she was initially transported to Coffeyville Regional Medical Center with life threatening injuries. She was then transferred to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita and reportedly listed in stable condition. (Coffeyville is at the southeast corner of Kansas, one-half mile north of the Oklahoma state line.) We may never know more than that, unless authorities believe there may be reasons to file criminal charges.
We do know that the attack on Beau was extremely violent and fatal. Neighbors said that experienced emergency medical responders, police and animal control entered the Rutledge townhome prepared to provide help--and came out crying.
Beau was savagely mauled at about 1:00 on April 24, in a few brief moments while Angela Rutledge went into the bathroom at their home on Sierra Trail in south Fulton County, Georgia. Neighbors report she then ran outside screaming, “My dog killed my child, my dog killed my child,” she is heard saying on the released 911 call. Witnesses said she collapsed on the street. Police officers saus she was so distraught she was suicidal. (Read Family Pit Bull Kills Toddler Beau Rutledge While Mother is in Bathroom)
Angela had called Jeremiah at work and he raced home to a scene so gruesome that police would not allow him to enter his own home and used a Taser to subdue him because he was “hysterical” with grief. Both Angela and Jeremiah were transported to a hospital because authorities were concerned about their extreme emotional distress.
The next evening, 11Alive was told by the director of Fulton County Animal Services that the dog has been acting "normal, like a family pet” in the days following the attack. Earlier in the day the Medical Examiner confirmed that Beau died as a result of the attack by the Pit Bull.
Jeremiah can finally talk about Beau and he told WSBTV, “He was a very playful person, and loving, he had the prettiest smile. He had two dimples right here,” Rutledge said of the child who strongly resembles his father.
He said his faith is getting him through and that, no matter what has happened, he knows he is not alone, but he urges caution for those who allow small children around Pit Bulls.
“Those dogs cannot be domesticated,” Rutledge said. “They cannot.”
WHY DOPIT BULL ADVOCATES INSIST THAT ALL PIT BULLS ARE “GREAT PETS” FOR CHILDREN?
Are Pit Bull advocates really helping the breed by insisting that—not matter how unprovoked an attack and no matter how much the Pit Bull has been loved—it is NEVER the fault of the dog and ALWAYS the fault of the owner?
Pit Bulls were never “Nanny Dogs,” as it has become popular to contend. In fact, until the past few decades large dogs were not kept indoors and certainly not left with small babies in a nursery. Pit Bulls were bred and used for killing other dogs.
If it is the intent of humane organizations to have Pit Bulls accepted as a family pet and social animal, why is there not an admission that this breed must be monitored closely because of its history and genetic propensities?
Who is really behind the “No Breed-Specific-Legislation (BSL)” movement? Is it “rescuers” blinded by emotion, who do not care about the lives of humans and other animals? Or is it really the organized dog fighting industry that wants to “preserve the breed,” meaning maintain the fighting bloodlines in a dog whose nature is to kill? Who else would believe the lives of innocent children is a worthy sacrifice?