Mother Recounts Attack
UPDATE 04/29/14: On April 29, 2014, Roxanne Miller Hartrich, Kara's mother, provided a written account of the vicious attack that killed her daughter to DaxtonsFriends.com. She describes how that day, Kara's 4th birthday, had beautifully begun. When she walked out the door that morning, headed for work, it would be the last time she ever saw her daughter alive again. As she hurried home from work and pulled into her subdivision, she noticed a "red glow" over her street corner.
Kara Hartrich – Bloomington, Illinois – killed by the family pit bull on her 4th birthday
By Roxanne Miller Hartrich
...I got off work a little early that day and decided that she needed a few more presents that just couldnt wait to be bought, and then i headed home, my husband called me and wanted to know why brutus was outside when he got home i said i didnt know i was on my way home and would be there soon...and then my nightmare began...I pulled into the entrance of my subdivision, and noticed a red glow over the street corner, i remember wondering what on earth could be going on, on my quiet little subdivision full of daycares and minivans...As I rounded the corner I could see the street was blocked off, full of firetrucks, police, and families standing outside -- i still wondered what was going on, I was flagged and told to pull over, I then looked up and saw that it was my house they were all at, my yard was taped in crime scene ribbon, full of police officers, fire personnel, lots of noise and commotion, i was met by police officers, my husband covered in blood...
Read account in full » | Related news article »
01/30/14: Family Dogs Euthanized
McLean County authorities have euthanized all three family pit bulls seized in connection to the death of a 4-year old girl. Kara Hartrich died of massive blood loss due to multiple dog bite injuries after being attacked by at least two of the family's pit bulls. McLean County officials put all three dogs down, two unneutered males and one female, after the state-mandated 10-day rabies quarantine period, according to McLean County Health Department spokeswoman Kera Brossette.
McLean County State’s Attorney Jason Chambers said that no charges would be filed as a result of the deadly attack. "Sometimes, if we know there is a dangerous dog involved, because of a prior documented history to attacks, then we can make an argument of criminal wrongdoing," Chambers said. "In this circumstance, the dog(s) involved did not have a prior documented history of bites," he said. As is true in numerous severe maulings and fatal attacks inflicted by pit bulls.
Learn about Illinois state issues regarding this fatality: Pit Bull Attacks and Dogfighting in Illinois
01/20/14: Died on 4th Birthday
Kara Elizabeth Hartrich, 4, of Bloomington died on her fourth birthday, according to her obituary. She was pronounced dead on January 17, 2014 after suffering massive blood loss and multiple dog bites to her head, neck and arms after being attacked by at least two of her family's three pit bulls. Kara was born on January 17, 2010, according to her obituary. An online fundraiser set up at Youcaring.com raised over $15,000 to help her family pay for funeral costs and related expenses.
01/18/14: Fatality Victim Identified
The 4-year old girl killed by one or more family dogs in her Bloomington home has been identified as Kara Hartrich. McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling said an autopsy done Saturday revealed that Kara Hartrich died from massive blood loss and multiple bites to her head, neck and arms. She was pronounced dead at 5:50 pm on Friday at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. McLean County Animal Control department seized all three of her family's pit bulls.
Pantagraph.com reports additional details, including that she was attacked by at least two of the family's three pit bulls. All three dogs are adults; two unaltered males and one female. Authorities believe the two male pit bulls are responsible for the attack. At the time of the attack, the child's grandmother was babysitting Kara and her 2-year old sister. The grandmother tried to separate the dogs from Kara, but the animals turned on her. She then tried to protect the 2-year old child.
The family lives in a subdivision with streets named after the Monopoly game. Kara's street, Parker Avenue, is a street filled with two-story houses with fenced yards, swing-sets and minivans, according to Pantagraph.com. Seems like the ideal setting of a safe family neighborhood, except for her family's choice in dog breed, which kills more people that all other breeds combined. Kara's mother described her as a "happy little girl" and now she is making funeral arrangements for her.
Images of the family's three pit bulls from the father's public Facebook page (Jan. 18, 2014).
01/18/14: Autopsy Underway
Bloomington, IL - Late Friday afternoon, Bloomington Police responded to a call regarding an unresponsive child in the 2000 block of Parker Avenue. Upon arrival, rescue personnel discovered an unresponsive 4-year old girl with multiple dog bite injuries at the family home, according to McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling. The child was transported to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal where she was pronounced dead by Emergency Department Staff.
An autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Saturday morning, according to Kimmerling. “Early information suggests that the 4-year old was at home with a younger sibling and a grandparent when the incident occurred,” Kimmerling said. The family owns three dogs, described by their owners as pit bulls. McLean County Animal Control took the animals into custody. It is expected that the child's identity, along with preliminary autopsy results, will be released Saturday.
12/27/13: 2013 Fatal Dog Mauling Image of the Year: The Funeral of Ryan Maxwell
12/10/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Year Old Girl Mauled to Death by Dogs in South Chicago
03/10/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old 'Visiting' Galesburg Boy Killed by Pit Bull
Bloomington Illinois is very near Galesburg, IL where a child died less than a year ago. Both cities, as well as Peoria, Glenwood, Elgin, Peoria, Waukegan, Lake county, Cary, and Skokie looked at dangerous dog ordinances because of pit bull attacks and refused to regulation pit bulls to PREVENT these all too regular horrors. SHAME ON THEM!
As a mother, these stories horrify me. When my family decided to get a dog, we picked a yorkie. Some dog rescuers won't allow families with children to get tiny purse dogs because they worry about the child being much bigger and stronger than the dog. Yet they have no qualms about putting huge pit bulls in homes with small children.
It's completely backwards. The dog rescuers worry about dog safety, but not child safety. It wasn't like this when I was growing up. People had their priorities straight, and put children ahead of pets, but now they've switched it around. I just do not understand.
The pit bull apologists are saying the dogs attacked because the house had toys on the floor. Have they ever been in a home with small children? It is normal for children to scatter toys. It is NOT normal for dogs to kill children because toys are on the floor.
Do they even believe the things they say? It's just too ridiculous. Yorkies, chihuahuas, shih tzus, poodles, collies, and many other breeds live in homes that occasionally have clutter, and they don't kill people. So why do they think it's okay for pit bulls?
There are photographs of the three grippers in the house, interacting with the children. Please post them so there can be no mistake about what type of dogs these were.
I'm always vigilant when outside with my children. Several pit bulls & rottweilers in the area, any of which I'd shoot if they approach my kids. I carry guns legally & would shoot these nasty animals in a heart beat
When I was 12 years old i was heading to a friends house for a her birthday party along with my other three friends. My friend lived directly across the street from the family spoken about in this article. When we entered the street we saw the police cars which had blocked off the driveway to my friends house. We had no idea what was going on except that there was police tape in front of the house along with the little girl's dad repeatedly beating his head on a tree. We watched as the police carried out the stretcher after going in and out of the house multiple times. One of my friends had recently lost her dad and was familiar to that kind of police scene and was having a slight panic attack. The five of us were told the little girl was taken to a hospital but weren't told until the next morning that she didn't make it. My prayers still go out to this family, 2 years later.