DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Police are investigating after an infant died of injuries sustained from being attacked by a family dog.
Shortly before midnight on Jan. 9, Dayton, Ohio, officers responded to the 100 block of Vermont Avenue for reports of an infant not breathing.
According to Lt. Jason Hall, Commander of the Violent Crime Bureau, officers found that the child had been attacked by the family dog and died of her injuries.
The Coroner’s Office later identified the child as 4-month-old McKenzie Terwell and ruled the death an accident.
According to the coroner, the infant bled to death.
The dog, who Dayton police said is a pit bull, has since been quarantined and the incident is under investigation by the police department’s Special Victims Unit.
Two “beware of dog” signs are posted at the front of the Vermont Avenue home.
According to a 911 call, a parent had returned home to find the baby on the floor and not breathing. The parent also told the dispatcher a family member was supposed to be watching the girl.
“It’s painful to have that young of a child taken out of your life because of a dog,” said Darleen Bohannon, a neighbor.
Bohannon said she has seen at least two to three pit bulls in the family’s fenced yard, as recently as this past fall.
“Really we didn’t hear them,” she said. “Unless there was somebody [coming] around.”
Bohannon said from what she has seen, the dogs never appeared to be aggressive. But now, especially as a dog owner herself, she said she’s concerned.
“I hope that they don’t let the dogs back to them,” Bohannon said. “I hope that she can recover from the loss of her baby girl. And I hope the family just has some kind of peace.”
While police have not released the exact circumstances in this case, veterinarians say a young child should never be left alone with any pet, and under supervision, parents should make sure there’s some kind of barrier between the two.
“I think the parent should be actually holding the infant,” said Dr. Daniel Brauer, a veterinarian and owner of Dayton South Veterinary Clinic. “The infant should never be put down on the floor and let the pet come up and lick it or lay on it or lay next to it.”
A spokesperson for the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center was unable to release any further information on the investigation.