2024 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Year Old Killed by Dog in North Alabama Marking Second Child 'Death by Dog' in Region in 4 Days

Mark Alan - killed by dog in north alabama
Mark Alan, 2-years old, was killed by a dog in north Alabama on Friday evening.

Toddler Killed by Dog
New Hope, AL - A 2-year old boy is dead after being attacked by a dog in New Hope Friday evening. The city is 40 mile east of Hartselle, where 4-year old Beau Clark was brutally killed by an Olde English bulldog on Monday. Beau was buried earlier today; over a thousand people attended his funeral. On Friday, at about 5:21 pm, Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc., (HEMSI) responded to a residence in the 200 block of T R Christian Road after a report of a toddler being bitten by a dog.

HEMSI spokesman Don Webster said that multiple agencies responded, including, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Owens Cross Road Police Department, and New Hope Police Department. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, Webster said. Madison County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Brent Patterson said the child was at a neighbor's home when he was attacked by a neighbor's dog. Madison County Coroner Tyler Berryhill said an autopsy will be performed on the child this week.

WAFF spoke to Rickey Clark, the owner of the dogs (no relationship to Beau Clark). He said that one of his dogs, a husky, was responsible for the attack. Both of his dogs were seized by animal control. WAFF captured footage of the dogs being confiscated. A husky is seen and a shepherd-type dog. Clark said the toddler got into his backyard by "opening the gate himself." The gate was latched but not locked. Clark said his dogs had never harmed anyone before. He even showed WFF his gate.

Child & Breeds Identified

The boy's mother has publicly identified him as Mark Alan. "Last night our world was completely shattered. I lost my youngest child, my mini me, my Mark Alan," Kayla Hughey wrote. "The hurt is unreal. I don’t even feel like I’m living in reality. My children’s hearts are so broken." Hughey stated that she has "spoken with all of the police and investigators" and that "it looks as if this was just a very tragic accident with no one to be held at fault." Hughey thanked the many first responders.

The two dog breeds involved have been confirmed as a husky and a German shepherd-golden retriever mix. The sex and spay/neuter status were not released. The ages of the dogs were not released. Despite the importance of all three in fatal dog maulings, this "basic" data is rarely released. This type of fatality was much more common pre-2010 -- "male child entered into dog pen." We know in the 2021 New Mexico case that the adults present in the home were prosecuted afterward.

This is a breaking story. Information will be updated as it emerges over the weekend.

Related articles:
02/27/24: 2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Dies After Bull Breed Mauling in North Alabama
02/24/24: 2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Newborn Dies After Bite to the Head by Pet Husky

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Young Boy Mauled, Killed by Dog in Rural Monroe Center, Ogle County Illinois

Rural monroe center dog breeder fatality
A 4-year old boy was fatally injured by a dog in rural Monroe Center, Illinois.

Child Killed by Dog
Ogle County, IL - A 4-year old boy is dead after being mauled by a dog, according to the Ogle County Sheriff's Office. The attack occurred on February 29, 2024. At approximately 4:40 pm, the Ogle County 911 Dispatch Center received a 911 call about a child mauled by a dog in rural Monroe Center, which is located 16 miles away from Rockford, and that CPR was in progress. The child was transported to a hospital in Rockford, where he died of his injuries. The investigation into his death is ongoing.

According to audio dispatch log files from Ogle County Fire on Broadcastify.com, at 4:42 pm the agency was dispatched to a home in the 8900 block of North Limestone Road. CPR was immediately underway. The attack occurred in the backyard. The dispatcher states, "The boy is not responsive. He's in the backyard on the side." Moments later, she states, "CPR is in progress. They are in the backyard. The dog is kenneled." The dog, of an unknown breed, was secured prior to EMS arrival.

Earlier today, Limestone Sphynx and LFD Great Danes, located in Monroe Center, published on their Facebook page, "Due to a loss in our immediate family we've decided that we will no longer be raising great danes. Anyone with deposits in will be refunded. We are also going to be rehoming a number of our adults." One commenter stated, "Just saw the news that is so heartbreaking." The local school published a post, "The Meridian CUSD 223 mourns the unexpected loss of one of our students."

Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle told Shaw Media the dog involved was a "mixed breed." It was euthanized Friday afternoon. That seems unusual, given the family breeds AKC registered great danes -- purebred dogs -- but there may have been other dogs on the property. Shaw Media also quoted Ogle County Animal Control administrator Dr. Thomas Champley. “This is the first time we’ve had a fatality,” he said. This is breaking news. As the news unfolds, more clarity will become available.

boy killed by dog in rural Monroe Center Ogle County

Limestone Farm Danes (LFD) in Monroe Center breeds great danes and sphyx cats.

Related articles:
02/16/24: 2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed by Pack of Breeding Pit Bulls in Compton, California
02/07/24: 2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Breeder Killed, Husband Injured After Attack by Catahoula...

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: East Texas Dog Owner Charged after Man Found Dead with Wounds Consistent with Dog Bites

This video is from February 1, after a man was found dead with wounds consistent with dog bites.

Criminal Charges Filed
Longview, TX - A man with a lengthy criminal history has been arrested in connection to a man found dead with wounds consistent with dog bites on February 1, according to police. Martin Gilbert Rodriguez, 56, of Longview, was charged with attack by dog causing death under the Texas felony dog attack law. The identity of the 46-year old male victim has not been released. The arrest follows an autopsy report from the Forensic Medical Management Services that was returned to police.

Rodriguez remains in the Gregg County Jail; bond has not yet been set. He has been in jail since February 1 for multiple animal-related offenses and other charges, including: 28 counts of animal at large, 2 counts of animal unvaccinated, 5 counts of failure to maintain financial responsibility, 4 counts of no driver’s license, speeding, and animal illegally kept in a parked or standing vehicle. Rodriguez lives close to where the man was found dead in a roadway with wounds consistent with dog bites.

The Fatal Dog Biting Incident

At about 3:00 am, Longview police officers responded to a called of a bicycle in a roadway in the 2500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Arriving officers found the bicycle and then discovered the deceased man with dog bite wounds. Animal control officers and police confiscated multiple dogs from a nearby residence, as an investigation into his death got underway. Residents complained then that the dogs had been an issue for some time, wondering, "Why wasn’t something done sooner?"

Longview NAACP former president and community member Branden Johnson told CBS 19 that police had been contacted about the dogs at least six times and that two of his friends were attacked by the dogs. Johnson said that more needed to be done to protect everyone in the community. "At least if not fairly and equally, with equity. And when there’s something going on, everybody gets treated how they’re supposed to be treated. And there’s no difference, or indifference," Johnson said.

Habitual Animal Violations Offender

In 2019, Rodriguez faced similar charges: 3 counts of animal at large and 3 counts of animal unvaccinated. In 2021, charges escalated to the felony statute. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to 1 count of attack by dog causing serious bodily injury. The sentence was suspended 5 years and the remainder was probated. In early February, city officials said that animal control officers had issued almost 50 citations since 2019 in cases directly related to the dogs seized from the property on February 1.

Now that Rodriguez has used up the Court's leniency after the 2021 serious bodily injury case, he faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted under the state statute. It is troubling that he continued being a reckless dog owner after the 2019 and 2021 charges. The worst possible outcome of his behavior occurred on February 1 when his dogs killed a man. Certainly, the city should be considering a habitual offender ordinance that prohibits people like Rodriguez from owning any animals.

east texas, wounds consistent with dog bites

East Texas man faces charges after man found dead with wounds consistent with dog bites.

Related articles:
06/21/23: 2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Walking Down Road in Rockport, Texas Brutally Killed by Dogs
08/26/23: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Dogs Suspected in Man's Death in Channelview, Harris County

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Dies After Violent Bull Breed Mauling in Morgan County, Alabama

Beau Clark, 4-years old, died after a violent bull breed mauling in Morgan County, Alabama.

No Criminal Charges
UPDATE 02/29/24: On Thursday, Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett issued a release, stating that no charges are expected in the death of 4-year old Beau Clark. Investigators determined the dog was "securely maintained on its own property" and had "no history of violent or aggressive behavior." The child was riding his bike, but for "unknown reasons entered the yard he had been in numerous times." The "child was familiar" with the dog and had been around it "numerous times in the past."

Sheriff Puckett added, "the families are friends and have routinely shared many life events together" and that "this is an incredible tragedy in the truest sense of the word." We know from our own 19-years of data (2005 to present day) that fatal dog maulings resulting in criminal charges compromise 20% or less of all fatal attacks. Seldom is someone to blame when a pit bull "explodes" -- attacking and killing a child and severely injuring an able-bodied adult male, who intervened to save his son's life.

Details from Earlier Reporting

We retrieved the article from Daily Decatur, which had previously been behind a paywall, because it contains additional details. Morgan County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Swafford said the call initially indicated the child had been hit by a car. Deputies were unprepared for the horrific scene that awaited them. “Once they arrived on scene, one of our deputies was helping the father with the child, and the other deputy was able to locate the lost dog, which was still aggressive,” Swafford said.

The article also delves into the similar breed history and functionality of the Olde English bulldog (a modern "revived" bull baiting breed) and pit bull terriers -- both engineered to excel in bloodsports and are descendants of fighting and baiting dogs. Morgan County Animal Shelter Director Darren Tucker, "whose department collected the dog’s body and sent off specimens for analysis, said the animal appeared to be a pit bull-mix weighing between 40 and 60 pounds," reports Daily Decatur.

We were unable to obtain a photograph of the dog involved. Director Tucker, however, who collected the animal, believes it is predominantly pit bull.

Tucker said the dog's owners called about getting the dog's remains. The health department "would not allow it," he said. "The dog has to be sent in because of the severity of the incident.” He added that "97% of the calls that Animal Control responds to for aggressive animals end up being pit bull related." His shelter relies heavily on rescue groups to adopt out dogs. But at least two of those groups "will not take pit bulls at all because the breed’s 'trigger' is unpredictable," Tucker told Daily Decatur.

Tucker also made a statement that victims' advocates say. "It’s in that dog to not let go. If it had been a golden retriever, a cocker spaniel, an Irish setter -- it would have probably bit and have been done, and that child could be alive today," he said. Similar to the view of advocates: "If these pit bulls were a beagle, or I could name almost 300 dog breeds, this child would be alive to today." Tucker urged people to carefully investigate breeds and temperament when adopting dogs, reports Daily Decatur.

02/27/24: Child Killed by Bull Breed
Hartselle, AL - Last night, the Morgan County Sheriff's Office published an update about a violent bull breed mauling involving a 4-year old boy. It began with, "A dog bit a child. Child in critical condition. Deputies had to put down dog." The next update, shortly thereafter, states, "The child has passed away." At about 6:00 pm, deputies were dispatched to a home on Ramblewood Private Drive off Vaughn Bridge Road. The dog involved belonged to the child's neighbor, the sheriff's office said.

That same night, the sheriff's office posted another update: "Please pray for the family of the child who was killed by a dog tonight in our community, as well as our Deputies, EMS, Coroner, VFD and Dispatchers that handled this call or responded to the scene. Tonight is hard." The word "dog" was later changed to "Olde English Bulldog." The audio dispatch logs from Decatur and Morgan County Public Safety became difficult to listen to when we heard the ETA of the Air Evac was 20 minutes.

The boy's father sustained serious injuries trying to save his son; he was treated and released from the hospital. Both families involved are friends.

"4-year old male. Attacked by a canine," the dispatcher states. "He's covered in blood. CPR is in progress. Child has bite wounds to the neck." A few seconds later, he states, "Advise that the canine is in the neighbor's yard." Then the ETA is announced. "Survival flight 20 is in route. It has an ETA of 20 minutes," the dispatcher states. The segment ends with details about the landing zone. The sheriff's office warned people to stay away from the area, "Use caution. Large police and EMS presence."

The Olde English bulldog is not recognized by the AKC or the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). It's yet another "revived" bull breed "created for the English sport of bull baiting, practiced from approximately 1100 until 1835," states the UKC. This "revived" bull breed was created in a 1971 breeding program that "began using a linebreeding scheme" to rapidly achieve a dog that matched the look "of the bull baiting dog of the early 1800s." The UKC did not recognize the breed until 2014.

According to working bulldog breeders, "the foundation crosses consisted of English bulldog, and bullmastiff, American pit bull terrier, and American bulldog." The Olde English bulldog (also spelled, Olde English Bulldogge) is one of the breeds used in the creation of the American XL bully, the largest of four sizes of the American bully breed, which was recently banned in the United Kingdom. The dog that killed this little boy was first identified as a pit bull likely because it looked and acted like one.

A GoFundMe created for the boy's family has raised over $30,000 in only 5 hours. "Kevin and Hailey Clark are beloved members of the Hartselle, AL community," states Emily Reeves, who organized the fundraiser. "Tragically, they lost their 4 year old son, Beau, on February 26, 2024. Please donate to help support them and their family during this difficult time." Our hearts go out to the Clark family and to all of the medical and law enforcement responders who worked so hard to save his life.

Mother is a Teacher

The Decatur Daily, which is behind a paywall, states the victim is the "son of a beloved Hartselle High School English teacher. Hailey Clark, Beau's mother, previously taught at Hartselle Junior High before transferring to the high school, according to Principal Brad Cooper." The photograph on the high school's website is the same one used in the GoFundMe. Brian Clayton, the superintendent of Hartselle City Schools, confirmed Beau was a student who attended Crestline Elementary.

Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn commented on Facebook about the support the family has received: "I have been in public service going on 43 years and never seen so many people come together as one, as they did [last night]. There were so many, from the dispatchers, police officers, Fire, EMS, hospital staff and even the bystanders were kneeling in prayer. It makes you proud to live in a community and be a part of a first responder family like this. Please continue to pray..."

Boy dies in violent bull breed mauling in Alabama

A friend of the dog owner lives in Hartselle and breeds/sells Olde English bulldogs (OEB) on Facebook, "Bulldog Babies, Hartselle Alabama". In typical "American bully breeder" fashion, he mixes and matches his bull breeds. He crosses OEBs with French bulldogs, boxers, and more. He also owns pit bulls that he blends into his designer bull breed "concoctions."

Related articles:
12/01/23: 2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Killed by Pet Wolf-Dog Hybrid in Alabama
11/13/23: 2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Birmingham Woman Killed by Dogs Coroner Says

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.