Tori Whitehurst, 4-years old, died after a recently adopted out dog attacked her throat.
Adopted Dog Kills Child archived
Phoenix, AZ -A 4-year old died after being attacked by her family's American bulldog. Tori Whitehurst was airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix, but did not survive. The attack happened just before 4 pm at the family's home in the 500 block of Yearling Road. Tori and her sister had been playing in the backyard with four dogs. A live-in nanny was watching the girls, but left briefly to retriever something. When the bulldog started attacking Tori, her sister ran and told the nanny.
The nanny rushed outside and found the dog had latched onto Tori's throat. The nanny began hitting the dog with various objects, including stabbing it with scissors, but could not get the dog to release its jaws. Deputies arrived to find the dog laying next to Tori, sheriff's officials said. When the dog began advancing on the deputies, they Tased it, then shot the animal five times, killing it. The Arizona Human Society later described the dog as an American bulldog-mastiff mix.
Maricopa County sheriff's deputies said they first tried Tasering the animal and when that didn't work, they shot it multiple times.
"My neighbor behind us heard gunshots," said Ian Whitehurst.
He said the neighbor then called him, telling him her daughter had been attacked by the family dog.
"She was really close with Kane," said Dani During, a family friend. "That's the dog's name. We don't know what got into it." - KPHO Phoenix, November 6, 2007
The dog named Kane was surrendered to the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) in March 2007. He adopted to an unnamed person in April. This person allegedly gave the dog to the Whitehurst family in June. The dog killed Tori four months later. AHS released a statement on November 6, stating, "we are not certain how" Kane ended up with Tori's family and that when Kane left their facility, and, "he was fully evaluated by three behaviorists and showed no
sign of aggression."
AHS STATEMENT REGARDING DOG INVOLVED IN FATAL MAULING
(PHOENIX) – Arizona Humane Society officials learned late today that “Kane,” the dog involved in yesterday’s fatal mauling of a 4-year-old Phoenix girl, was surrendered to its Sunnyslope Facility in March of 2007 and subsequently adopted out. However, records indicate that someone other than the family of Tori Whitehurst, the young victim, adopted the dog in April of 2007.
AHS officials are now evaluating all of its agency’s records, and are not certain how, or when, “Kane” ended up with the child’s family or what “Kane” experienced between the time he left the AHS and was taken in by the child’s family.
“We have no record whatsoever of the child’s family adopting the dog from our shelter and we do not know how this dog ended up with Tori’s family. We are turning all of this animal’s records over to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department to assist in their investigation of this tragic incident,” said Kim Noetzel, AHS spokeswoman. “We are heartbroken over this matter and extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Tori Whitehurst. We will cooperate fully with the investigation. At this point, there is no connection between our records and the victim’s family.”
The AHS learned Tuesday afternoon that “Kane” had been implanted with a Microchip at the time he was adopted in April 2007, and that chip matched the Animal Identification number assigned to him when he was surrendered to the AHS in March of 2007. When he was surrendered, the surrendering family said they had “no time” for the dog.
“Kane” was fully evaluated by three behaviorists at the AHS prior being placed up for adoption and showed no signs of arousal and no aggression whatsoever while in AHS custody.
“We do not know if the person who adopted “Kane” mistreated him, gave him away, or if he ran away and was taken in by a different family – we simply have no idea how he ended up with Tori Whitehurst’s family,” Noetzel said. “And, we have no idea why he attacked the child and, at this point, we cannot even speculate. When he left the AHS he was behaviorally sound and physically healthy.”
“Kane” was neutered; records indicate he was born in June of 2005 and that he was an American Bulldog/mastiff mix.
11/06/07: Arizona Humane Society Statement