(WUSA9) - The President of Calvert County’s Board of Commissioners says he’s in favor of exploring ways to restrict pit bull dog ownership after an 8-month-old child was killed by her family’s dog Thursday.
“They knew immediately the only way to stop that attack was to shoot that dog,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans as he discussed the response of two deputies called to a home on Prancer Court.
Deputies said the child was being watched by a neighbor when the family dog attacked the baby without provocation. They said the babysitter was injured when she tried to stop the attack.
Sheriff Evans described the dog as a 65-pound “pit bull type” dog which had been brought into the family’s home as a puppy six years ago.
It’s the second fatal dog attack in Calvert County since 2006. Previously a 78-year old Lusby man was mauled to death by his own pit bull pets.
Calvert County Board of Commissioners President Tom Hejl said Friday he would be in favor of state legislators exploring Pit Bull restrictions “because of the nature of the animal and what history has told us about the animal.”
There were 31 fatal US dog attacks in 2016, according to DogsBite.org which tracks incidents nationally. Seventy-one percent of the fatal attacks were linked to pit bulls even though the breed represents only six percent of the dogs in the US, the organization reported.
The issue is so contentious, Maryland legislators were forced to pass a law in 2014 clarifying the liability of dog owners and removing any breed specific enhancements. The law was passed after Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals ruled that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous”, a designation that made owners and landlords more liable for any incidents. Pit Bull advocacy groups reported a flood of dogs being abandoned to shelters after landlords began restricting pit bulls from their properties.
2017 DOG BITE RELATED FATALITIES - 5 (4 children - 1 adult)
2 PIT BULLS - 2 GERMAN SHEPHERD - 1 MASTIFF/GREAT DANE MIX - 1 2 ENGLISH MASTIFFS - 1
GA-1 MD-1 NY-1 TN-1 TX-1 1) 1-17 LOGAN BRAATZ - 6 - ATLANTA GA - The boy was walking to his school bus stop with other children and some adults when 2 loose dogs began attacking them - It was reported that Logan was eviscerated, his friend Syrai Sanders was scalped and another child was injured - Although neighbors came running with sticks, knives and whatever they could find, the attack was deadly and swift and the dogs continued to circle and attempt to attack - The dog owner said his dogs had a fence but "SOMEHOW" got out.
2) 1-17 SKYLAR DEAN JULIUS - 2-MONTHS-OLD - SAN MARCOS TX - The father was caring for the infant girl while the mother was at work - He fell asleep for around 20 minutes and when he woke up the baby had been mauled by the family German Shepherd they had had for over 8 years and it was reported that the dog "had never shown aggression before". 3) 2-13 LOUISE HERMIDA - 75 - QUEENS NY - The elderly woman was mauled by her large dog that had been adopted almost 6 years ago. The breed is said to be a Mastiff or a Mastiff/Great Dane mix. Neighbors say as many as 10 dogs lived at the apartment. Her 39-year-old son, who has autism, attempted to put the dog in its cage and he was bitten on the leg. 4) 2-16 UNIDENTIFIED 5-YEAR-OLD BOY - CLARKSVILLE TN - Emergency personnel were called at 8:20am on a Thursday morning to a report that the Family's two English Mastiffs reported to be about 6-months-old had mauled the child. The boy died from extensive injuries. 5) 3-23 UNIDENTIFIED 8-MO-OLD BOY - LUSBY CALVERT COUNTY MD - The family pit bull latched on to the child and was still attacking when officers arrived only minutes after the call - An officer had to shoot the dog to stop its mauling but the baby died. NON-BITE DOG RELATED DEATH:
3-18 JOHN BRUNO - 5 - WARRINGTON TWP PA - John was playing in the snow on Wednesday, March 15, when his family looked out and saw him down on the ground with the family dog tugging at his scarf around his neck - He was unresponsive and first responders gave him CPR and he was rushed to a hospital - He died on Saturday, March 18 - Investigators report that he suffered ligature strangulation from the hound mix pulling on his scarf.