Deadly pit bull attack in Delaware

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A four year old boy is dead after he was attacked by a trio of pit bulls outside a Felton, Del. home.

Delaware State Police said the boy was playing in the yard while his mother visited with a female friend in the 900 block of Edwardsville Road. The boy’s mother, who is several-months pregnant, looked out the window and saw the dogs attacking the boy.

As her friend called 911, the mother ran out to save her son. She was bit on the arms several times while trying to rescue the boy. Two repairmen who were working at the home also tried to save the boy by fighting off the dogs with PVC piping.

Emergency crews tried to save the boy, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother was taken to Kent General Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Police are not releasing the name of the boy until family members can be notified.

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“I’ve never seen anything so horrendous,” said Capt. Sherri Warburton, head of the Delaware Animal Care and Control.

The two female dogs and one male were all related; none were spayed or neutered. Warburton explained that one of the females was pregnant and the other may have been in heat. That combination of factors could have led to a pack mentality among the dogs.

“It’s just not a good situation to leave a child unattended with those type of dogs,” Warburton said.

The animals were removed and euthanized by the First State Animal Center and SPCA. Because the dogs were not vaccinated, the animal’s remains will be sent to be tested for rabies.

Warburton said the oldest female is believed to be the mother of the younger female and the male dog involved in the attack.

“I don’t have confirmation, but with an intact adult male and a female that is able to come into heat, more than likely that was interbreeding that occurred there,” Warburton said.

She doesn’t believe that the dogs were used for fighting.

Animal control officers first visited the home where the attack happened on Wednesday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m., after getting reports that two pit bulls were on the loose. When they arrived on scene, the officers were unable to find the dogs and no one appeared to be home.

Warburton said that following the attack that afternoon, officers contacted the person who made complaint about the loose dogs and confirmed that the attacking dogs were the same dogs that got out earlier in the day.

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