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Henderson, NV —  A 1-year-old boy died on Saturday after being attacked by the family dog while celebrating his first birthday with family.

The unidentified boy was at his grandmother’s house with family when he crawled over to the family’s six-year old, 120-pound Mastiff/Rhodesian mix to pet it. According to the family, they have raised the dog since he was a puppy and he had never shown aggression towards anyone before.

But on this occasion the dog attacked the boy, latching his mouth around the little boy’s head and then shaking him like a chew toy. The boy’s grandmother immediately tried to pull the boy out of the dog’s mouth to no avail.

The boy’s father was upstairs when the attack occurred but was able to get the dog to let go within 20 seconds of the attack. But the damage to the boy was devastating.  “The baby’s face was torn off,” he said. The boy was rushed to the hospital but would die a few hours later.

Animal control officers took the dog to an animal shelter where he will be quarantined for ten days. After the observation period, and since it has been declared vicious, the dog will be euthanized.

As evident by some of the pictures attached to the news article I linked to, the dog has been around the boy since he was an infant and there are several pictures of the dog with the boy. So why he attacked is a mystery and something investigators are looking into.

I’m not faulting this family as it just seems to be one of those unfortunate things that happen. It’s an animal, so I’m not real sure if they will ever pinpoint exactly why it chose that particular moment to attack. But for me personally, I was always very wary about my kid poking on dogs when he was a toddler, and never let him mess with any that I could ride like a small horse.

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