A 2-year-old boy, identified only as Daniel, died after being savagely mauled by four adult pit bulls belonging to his babysitter. The babysitter, a 28-year-old-female, was also severely injured while attempting to pull her dogs off the child.
The tragic death of the special-needs toddler occurred in Gilbert, Ariz., where Daniel and his four siblings were staying at the babysitter's home near Val Vista and German roads for the weekend. The other children, two 9-year-old boys and two girls, ages 6 and 7, were uninjured, according to the Daily Mail.
On Sunday morning around 11 a.m. the babysitter’s four pit bulls began fighting. The distraught woman said the little boy walked toward them and was pulled into the middle of the dog fight, when the dogs all turned their attack to him. A frantic 911 call reveals the babysitter’s terror as the dogs run loose in the house and she fears for the safety of the other children and officers entering a gate. She begs for an ambulance to be sent.
Police reportedly arrived within four minutes of the call, but it was too late for Daniel. He was rushed to Gilbert Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The babysitter was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center with serious injuries to her arms and legs. She underwent surgery for severe bite wounds and was last reported in stable condition, the Daily Mail reports.
The pit bulls were removed by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and will be held in rabies quarantine for 10 days.
“Right now we’re looking at it as a tragic, terrible accident,” Gilbert Police officials state.
In a Sept. 23 report, AZ FamilyNews reports that, on Monday their news staff saw photos of the dogs involved in the attack and determined it was two males and two females. The dogs weigh 60 to 75 pounds each, and are between a year and a half and 6 years old, they stated. It was unclear whether the babysitter was breeding the dogs and if the dogs are related.
Daniel’s father was reportedly in Mesa, Ariz., and the mother was in Flagstaff. She drove back immediately when she learned by phone what happened. She told FOX 10 she was so numb after hearing of her son’s death that she couldn’t think straight.
The ASPCA says between 2005 and 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans. And one-third of dog bites happen to a victim who is temporarily living with or visiting the dog’s owner.
FATHER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT PIT BULL MYTHS AND FATAL ATTACK ON HIS SON
Daniel’s death follows another recent pit bull-related death, in which a young, helpless toddler lost his life. In each case, the dogs were family pets and well treated and socialized. The toddler’s father talks about life without his son and myths about pit bulls in a video posted Aug. 29.