In a tragic twist of fate, a 5-year old Oklahoma boy who survived the devastation wrecked by the recent tornado that tore through the city of Moore, was attacked and killed by a dog owned by an Arkansas family where he had been living until his own family’s home could be repaired.
According to NBC News, the unidentified youngster was attacked by a 150-pound Bullmastiff dog and was rushed to the emergency room of a Little Rock, AR hospital where he was pronounced dead. The dog, which had escaped from the owner’s home after attacking the boy, was shot dead by a family friend and retrieved by officers from local animal control.
The dog’s owner told officials that the boy was crying just prior to being attacked by the dog, whose breed is traditionally known for being guard dogs and who do not usually take well to small children. It is not suggested that Bullmastiffs be left alone with children for any length of time.
Although the owner tried to get the dog off of the youngster, her efforts were too little and too late. It is not known whether authorities will charge the dog’s owner for allowing an aggressive dog to cause fatal injuries to the child.
“To me, it’s heartbreaking,” Garland County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Hinojosa told NBC station KARK-TV of Little Rock. “I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter. You can’t imagine what this family and friends are going through right now.”
The American Bullmastiff Association says the breed needs no special training to “react appropriately if his family is threatened.”
“Never leave a child unattended with your Bullmastiff,” the association warns on its website. “They are pack animals and will find their natural place in the pack if left to natural processes. That place may be at the top of the pecking order instead of below younger family members if left unchecked.”
5-year-old Oklahoma tornado survivor killed by family friend’s dog