Denali Gonzalez, 2-years old, was killed by her family's new dog in Alvin, Texas.
UPDATE 10/16/18: A 2-year old girl fatally mauled by a family dog Friday has been identified. Denali Gonzalez died of her injuries at the scene. Her mother and children were returning home from a shopping trip and carrying in bags when the dog suddenly attacked the girl in the yard, Lt. Varon Snelgrove said Saturday. The dog's jaw locked in around her upper torso and throat and it all happened very quickly. "There's nothing the family could have done," Snelgrove said then.
About 5:00 pm Friday, Brazoria County Sheriff’s deputies and Alvin Animal Control officers arrived at a home in the 3900 block of County Road 424B (also known as Morning Dove Street) and found the dog had severely attacked the young girl, reports the Alvin Sun. The child was unresponsive and could not be revived. The dog, described as a mix of varying breeds, was so aggressive when officials arrived they had to tranquilized it with a dart. The dog was euthanized at the scene.
On Saturday, the victim's brother told KHOU the dog was new to the household and had been aggressive since it was brought to the family's home -- the dog even bit him. He said they were in the process of having the dog removed, but they did not act soon enough. It is unknown if the dog was adopted from a shelter or rehomed through another means. The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses.
10/13/18: New Family Dog Kills Toddler
Alvin, TX - The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a 2-year old girl was mauled to death by a family dog Friday afternoon. The deadly attack occurred in the 3900 block of Morning Dove Street, near Quail Drive, about 6:00 pm. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. She was transported to the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. The family dog, described as a mixed-breed, possibly a pit bull-mix, was taken into custody.
"It's a terrible incident where the family dog attacked a 2-year-old. We have no idea why. It's been a long time since we've had anything like this happen. It's a tragedy for all involved." - Brazoria Sheriff Charles Wagner
A separate report by the Houston Chronicle describes the dog as a leopard cur breed-mix, also known as an American leopard hound and possibly the Catahoula leopard dog. Catahoulas come in a variety of mixed-breed flavors, including mixed with American bulldogs and mixed with pit bull terriers. A merle coat often characterizes their appearance. The sheriff's office is not releasing the name of the family or the deceased child at this time. The dog has already been euthanized.
Over the course of Saturday, the breed became a "mixed-breed" that appears to be a Leopard cur-mix, according to animal control. The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office told Click2Houston that DNA was taken from the dog, and its exact breed makeup will be determined at another time. When officials arrived at the scene, the dog was so aggressive it had to be tranquilized with a dart; the dog was euthanized at the scene. The KHOU evening update provides more information.
KHOU spoke to the victim's brother, who would not go on camera, but said the new dog was aggressive from the time it was brought to the family's home -- the dog even bit him. He said they were in the process of having the dog removed, but they did not act fast enough. It is unknown if the dog was adopted from a shelter or rehomed through another means. The brother's account is vastly different from earlier news reports, which stated the dog had no history of aggression.
Lt. Varon Snelgrove told the Houston Chronicle, the animal had no known history of violence or aggression. "The mother and children were returning home from a shopping trip and carrying in bags when the dog suddenly attacked the girl in the yard, he said. The dog's jaw locked in around her upper torso and throat and it all happened very quickly," reports the Chronicle. "There's nothing the family could have done," Snelgrove said. "It's just a horrific, horrific incident."
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03/27/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills 4-Year Old Boy in Bexar County, Texas
08/21/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Month Old Baby Killed by Family Dogs in North Houston
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.