Elliot Sherman, 4-years old, was killed by his grandparent's two rottweilers on May 9.
Cause of Death
UPDATE 05/28/21: More information has been released about a 4-year old boy that was killed by his grandparents' two rottweilers on May 9 near Whitehall. The boy left his grandparents, who were outside the home, to go inside the home, reports KRTV. After 45 minutes, his grandparents went to check on him and found him badly injured by the dogs. The grandparents started CPR on the child. After the sheriff and EMS arrived, Elliot Sherwin was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The cause of death is numerous puncture wounds and lacerations to his arms, legs, torso area." - Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle
Elliot's grandparents had recently gained custody of the boy, and moved to the area from Washington state, reports KRTV. The boy had grown up with the rottweilers since they were puppies. There were no indications or reports the dogs showed viciousness in the past. Both dogs were euthanized. The cause of death was ruled an accident. The grandfather's Facebook page still shows the pair of rottweilers. No other information has been released by authorities.
05/26/21: Rottweilers Kill Boy
Whitehall, MT - In the wake of a pair of family rottweilers killing a baby in North Carolina, the Montana Standard reports that two dogs killed a 4-year old boy in early May. Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle confirmed the boy's death Wednesday. The case continues to be under investigation and autopsy results haven't been finalized. The attack occurred at the boy's grandparents' home on Cedar Hill Road on May 9. Doolittle identified the boy as Elliott Sherwin.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, Doolittle said. "There was an ambulance called there from Jefferson Valley EMS, Life Flight was called and the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene," Doolittle said. The two dogs, believed to be rottweilers, were euthanized after the attack, Doolittle said. Deputy County Attorney Andrew Paul told The Standard his office could not comment on an ongoing investigation and that no legal proceedings had been initiated.
Fatal Rottweiler Attacks
There were no recorded fatal rottweiler attacks in 2020. There were four fatal rottweiler attacks recorded in 2019. In California, 2-year old Jaysiah Chavez was killed by two roaming rottweilers. In Nevada, 15-month old Kyna DeShane was killed by a rottweiler while visiting her grandfather's home. In Tennessee, 19-year old Adrieanna O'Shea was killed by a pack of dogs involving a rottweiler-mix. In Kentucky, 3-year old Steven Thornton was killed by two family rottweilers.
The delay in reporting this Montana attack comes during a period where we have seen a sharp decline in media reports of fatal dog maulings. During 2020, we saw a 45% decrease in media reports compared to 2019. Of the 46 persons killed by dogs in 2020, nearly one-quarter, 22%, lacked an official news release as well. This situation has continued in 2021. This year, reported fatalities are down 35% compared to a similar pre-Covid period (January 1 to May 26, 2019).
05/26/21: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record - DogsBite.org
05/26/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pair of Family Rottweilers Kill Baby in North Carolina
06/26/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Brain Dead After Pit Bull Mauling Near Bozeman
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.
This case was unreported for how long? It appears that official efforts to permanently suppress this news release eventually ended in failure. Too bad for the local authorities that this news got out. How many local entities are so happy that their similar events never get reported?
The amazing thing is that dangerous breed canines do not severely maul and severely maim tens of millions of Americans every year. Only somewhere around the range of about tens of thousands of severe major trauma injuries per year. Too bad it is only a tiny minority of people who think that we really should not have to live with this grave threat stalking our entire lives, anywhere, at all times. Oh well, there is always the Boy Scout motto for those who want to be reasonably safe from this hushed-up, out of control public health crisis.
Again, *two* rottweilers.
People who can’t handle one rottweiler (because if they could the dog wouldn’t be wandering around freely with their kid but under their control or at least be trained to self-control) seem hellbent on having two.
Do the folks buying them not realise that rottweilers team up in packs to take down large prey? Do they read breed histories?
No they don’t. I think if most people did any REAL breed research they wouldn’t make the stupid choices they’re making now.
At his grandparent’s house. I don’t know what the thing is with the elderly and power breed dogs but it’s not a good thing. Elderly people should ONLY be getting small and gentle dogs as pets, not ones that could knock them over and break a hip.
Sad another child has to pay for their stupidity with his life. If his parents had any brains they would not have allowed their child over at that house.
All of these grandparents with pit bulls and rottweilers make me cringe. Like really, no one should be owning these monsters. But of all people, the elderly and anyone with children in the home are the last on the list who should even think about it.
The only good news is to hear the monsters were put down.
In 2020, the pandemic was an overwhelming force that pushed out all other news. This year, there is no excuse. Lack of media is a way of sweeping this under the rug as if Elliot did not even exist. I think the family members responsible prefer this because it allows them to not be tried in the court of public opinion (since that is the only day in court they will face for this death that a minimum should be manslaughter).
More recently, I’m noticing stories about “pandemic puppies” that are being returned to shelters. Waddya wanna bet that a lot of those dogs are pit bulls, rottweilers, or their close mixes?
We have BSL but I’m seeing pantloads of imported (of all freakin things) pandemic puppies/dogs.
Good luck to the rescues and shelters when inexperienced dog owner return to work and find out they haven’t prepared for a lonely dog engaging in barking and/or property destruction.
I keep telling folks.
“Wait until everyone goes back to work and you’ll have your pick of breeds that will just take a bit of training to fix…cheap as chips.”
So where there’s no BSL I can’t begin to imagine the overflow, Quiet.
I suspect that will put a major strain on trying to keep the “No Kill” movement going.
If the grandparents only recently gained custody of the child, then we might assume that the dogs were jealous and were just waiting for a chance to be alone with him so they could kill him. It would only take a few minutes. There were two of them and they had 45. It makes no difference that there were no signs of viciousness in the past. You just CANNOT guarantee that your dog’s behavior will not change when you are not around. In the story before this one, similar thing happened. Owner not in house. So sad.
I think you have cracked it. The grandparents could actually be telling the truth if they say “We had never seen the dogs do anything like this before.” Rottenwielers not being quite as full of insane, raging bloodlust as pits may have waited until they could catch the boy alone. Would not be the first time.
__”After 45 minutes, his grandparents went to check on him and found him badly injured by the dogs”__
Well that statement caused me to ask “Where’s Waldo”?
Who doesn’t notice a four-year-old has vanished from their sight for *45 minutes*?! Is that a misprint or were these grandparents that neglectful?
I understand if the kid ran in for a cookie, the dogs fought him for it (awful, crap training, lack of supervision, etc etc) but they didn’t look for the kid for 45 minutes while he was being used as a tug toy?
That’s a good point Colleen. One of the most frequent indicators I’ve seen that a family dog is getting into trouble, is when it starts treating the family yard/house/neighbourhood like its own personal territory.
Not seeing those behaviors, addressing them and correcting them promptly often leads to attacks especially in protective breeds. This is generally followed by the “but there were no signs!” excuse.
People often blame “jealousy” for dog attacks when territorial aggression is far more likely.
Colleen, I don’t think you should have said that the grandfather no longer has sorrow regarding this event and has moved on. I don’t think you should read too much into his intentions. He has posts with his grandson all over his Facebook page. I’m sure this is killing him as he probably loved the little guy. Otherwise, keep up the good work!
In the “Thank God for small mercies” department at least Rottenweilers are not as popular as they were in the mid to late 90’s. They were the up and coming “fashion dog” for a few years. Thankfully that trend died out. I keep hoping the same thing will happen with pits.
At least back in 90’s when pepole realized they couldn’t control their rot and they took it to a shelter it had a good chance of being put down. Now they will keep a whale eyed, frothing at the mouth fight bust dog locked in a kennel at the pound for 5 years convinced they are doing a good thing.
Or they “peopled up” and put the dog down at their own expense…
…rather than shovel their financial and emotional responsibilities as a dog owner onto someone else.
I have to wonder how many of these people who are incapable of making the hard call had dogs as kids that were “sent to the farm” by their parents.
These were pure-bred, registered dogs (I call them Rottenweilers) the parents obviously trusted their pet dogs not to kill the new family member… the dogs had zero respect for their main owner ‘in charge’ those mutts killed the new baby! I wonder what went wrong, this time…
Edit — the grandparents but my comment still stands, the dogs knew this 4 years old boy, their whole life…
Grandfather seems like the type who owns dangerous dogs just to “offend” other people, looking at his FB feed which focuses on offending people. Outstanding. Godspeed to the child, he deserved a better family.
It’s bizarre to me that it took two weeks for this to be published in the news. I live in the area and literally NOTHING happens in Whitehall. A dog attack fatality should be a big deal.