Alabama girl killed by dog while playing outside

Published: Feb. 27, 2014 at 11:07 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2017 at 2:10 PM EST
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(WTVM) - Residents of Tallassee, Ala.are devastated by the horrific death of a four-year-old little girl who is notbeing identified. Police say she was mauled by one—or possibly two—dogs whileplaying outside yesterday afternoon.

The little girl wasplaying outside her grandfather's home at 1077 Lower Tuskegee Rd. The yard atthe home does not have a fence.

Neighbor Janet Kahn says, "Imet the little girl. The man who lives there is the man I rented the trailerfrom. It was his granddaughter. He loved her dearly. That little girl waseverything to him."

Chief Jimmy Rodgers withthe Tallassee Police Department says, "In talking to the grandfather who wassupervising the child, the child had been paying outside, and when he went tocheck on her, he saw a dog on top of the child, and it appeared to be dragging thechild. He ran out, and the dog ran off, and he carried her into the house, andcalled 911.>

Police found the littlegirl's lifeless body on the sofa.

"It has been very heartwrenching for each and every one of my guys who are a part of thisinvestigation," says Rodgers.

The grandfather identifieda neighbor's dog—a white German Shepherd mix—as the animal he saw on top of hisgranddaughter.

"The dog was dangerous tome," says Kahn. It's an animal she wanted to kill on at least one occasion,when it attacked her son's chicken coop.

"There was blood all overthe place, and the chickens were eaten. The dog had eaten the chickens. My sonwanted to kill the dog. We both did," says Kahn, also noting that the animalwas aggressive towards people as well.

Kahn says the owners arenice people with kids. They tried to keep the dog pinned up, but it often gotout. "I feel sorry for the people who own that dog, and the pain they are goingthrough that it took a child's life," she says.

Rodgers says, "We areworking with the District Attorney's Office to evaluate the case, and presentour case to them to determine whether there is any likelihood of charges comingout of this related to the owners of the dog."

Police have quarantined twodogs—the German Shepherd mix, and a lab mix—to see if forensic evidence can begathered, linking the dogs to the deadly attack. A judge will decide if dogswill be put down.

For now, a community isdevastated at losing an innocent child in such a horrific attack.

"She was precious. She wasa precious little angel. And to be mauled by dog—a dog that has already killedchickens and bit at least one other person. It's very heartbreaking that thingslike this can go on, and nobody does anything until something like this happens."

Chief Rodgers says policewere never notified about this dog prior to the attack. However, since thedeath, multiple neighbors have told police they believed the dog was dangerous.

There is no leash lawwhere the child was killed.

Police urge everyone tokeep their dogs fenced in, and leashed.

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