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49 thoughts on “2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Attacked, Killed by Family Dog While on Trampoline with Mother in East Hartford, Connecticut

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  1. Another day another baby died by pitbull pitbull mixed .same story over baby died parents cried parents said I don’t know why my sweet pittie did this to my son. People are going to blame the baby for his own death he playing to rough with the pit he crying to loud. Pitbull aren’t bad they have bad owner he in his favorite spot and the list goes on. I never. Seen heard of pitbull mixed with a Dalmatian.

    • Madeleine,
      the new trend in mislabeling pits is to call them a mix based on color. The brown Pit Bull is now a “Chocolate Lab”. The white Pit Bull with black spots is a “Dalmation”. The tan Pit Bull is a “Boxer mix”. There is so much bullshittery with the mislabeling of Pit Bulls. There is actually an app that you can download a picture and it will tell you the primary breed (s). It appears spot on. Shelters should use this and post the results to potential adopters.

      • Actually, yeah.

        Had one in the neighbourhood for awhile. Spoke with the fella.

        Some dolt is actually breeding them. Dalmation X Pitbull.

        Great, two big, dumb, hyper dogs bred together (one of which is known to be dog and human aggressive) cuz “it looks cool” and this is the result.

  2. As long as they call it a pit-something, that’s the most important part. And it *could* be crossed with Dalmatian from those photos, for an extra dose of neurotic! Not a mix I’d want any part of!

    • Exactly. My aunt had two Dalmatians and they were very aggressive. The only dogs I was ever genuinely scared of as a kid (I never encountered a pit, thank God). I don’t understand why these parents persist in exposing their babies and children to pits and pit mixes. Do they earnestly not see the news stories?

      • Many parents believe that the pit is going to protect their children.

        And some undoubtedly believe that their pit will protect them from other pits.

        • It’s so crazy. I would never expect our dog to protect our children. He’s a dog. He doesn’t have human thought processes. His mere presence could be a deterrent for intruders, but that’s it. Protecting our children is my and my husband’s job. People anthropomorphizing dogs to an astonishing degree is really a factor in all this.

  3. When I worked at an animal hospital years ago, two of the worst dogs we saw were a chow puppy and a full grown Dalmatian. That poor child didn’t have a chance. WTH is wrong with these parents???

    • In 2013 — and during the same months — there was a similar string of child deaths, but it was over a 60+ day period, not under 30 days. That was over a decade ago.

      Isaiah Aguilar, 2 (male) – February 16, 2013
      Ryan Maxwell, 7 (male) – March 2, 2013
      Daxton Borchardt, 14-months (male) – March 6, 2013
      Monica Laminack, 21-months (female) – March 27, 2013
      Tyler Jett, 7 (male) – April 7, 2013
      Jordyn Arndt, 4 (female) – April 23, 2013
      Beau Rutledge, 2 (male) – April 24, 2013

      As a percentage of all fatal dog maulings, child deaths have been falling over the years. From a high of 67% of all deaths in 2008 to 22% in 2023. But the actual number of child deaths per year is generally similar with an average of 16 deaths annually. It is the number of adult deaths that have been escalating, especially since 2019.

      • I think its cultural , look on tiktok dog meets baby is the norm , meets new sister , they actualy think the diog knows the are pregnant excited to meet new siuster etc etc ………its a mess

        • Well the dog knows they’re pregnant, for sure. Smells the hormonal changes. Knows what it means. That’s just instinct. You can’t TikTok an instinct.

          Doesn’t mean the dog thinks its a sibling. It’s not excited or happy for a newborn, although it may see one as competition for it’s food, a complicated annoyance, or in some cases–prey.

          It’s a dog. Respect them for being dogs and most will serve you well. Don’t do that and open up a whole can of neurosis and risky behaviours.

          • Boni, I appreciate your comments. Always well-reasoned and insightful. I’m one of those who used to completely personify dogs, and the pitbull issue has really opened my eyes to how problematic that is. It’s totally disordered and I think symptomatic of really alarming cultural shifts, but anyway. I can now enjoy (non-pitbull) dogs for what they are… dogs! I also have a much more well-behaved dog now because we imposed boundaries and discipline on him from puppyhood, whereas our previous “personified” dogs when we were younger had zero training / manners (though they were not pits so not dangerous, thank God).

          • Ashley, this response is for you. Thank you for your kind words.

            I’m glad you’re understanding your dogs as dogs, now. While people with “dog babies” *think* they have a deep relationship to their dog, it’s been my experience that the bond with a dog *as a dog* and respect for their work and their great qualities and training them to live with dignity in a human world is the far more rewarding experience.

            Once we’ve done that and trained our first dog and seen what amazing animals they are, as themselves walking alongside us through life in quiet contemplation, who would want to go back to some begging, leaping, barking, nipping, destructive, dragging-down-the-street massive annoyance and call that “loving relationship”?

            And that doesn’t even include the more abusive angle of living in fear of a dog that growls, snarls, bites and potentially mauls or murders while chronically making excuses for their dangerous behaviours.

    • Pediatricians have advocated for banning/restricting trampoline use due to the injuries they cause children. Trampolines (children jumping on them) have been involved in several fatal pit bull attacks that we know of. We have documented more when images of the backyard are shown and 1.) There is a trampoline 2.) There is a pit bull, chained or running loose, and 3.) The pit bull kills the child (at the time of the attack, child may not have been interacting with the trampoline). It just shows more risk factors. Have the trampoline and pit bull(s) loose in the backyard with the child.

  4. They had “beware of dog” signs in the front window of the house and on the fence to the right of the front door. They knew they were dangerous to someone.

    • Plus the family are still holding on to “non aggressor” of the two. And according to the neighbor who rushed when he heard screams, claims he had to fight off two pit bulls.

      Additionally…The mother is expecting.

      To quote some news webs sites- “Stay with us for further developments on this breaking story”.

      • I’ll correct myself.

        The family is NOT keeping the alleged non-aggressive dog. My mistake in reading the report.

        No family should keep these dogs. Put them both down.

        There is no “furever” home safe to keep them at. They will gladly give a repeat performance if given the chance.

  5. A happening waiting to accident. This is what happens when people don’t educate themselves on dog breeds & obtain dogs for status. There are some 400 species of dogs to pick from & this is the best one can do. This is the genetic character of the dog. What did they expect, esp with young children. And one must get certified professional training. It’s a no-brainer. Get a different breed.

    • They were breeding these dogs – maybe they thought there would be a better market for pitbulls with spots than plain old pitbulls.

      The gofundme is unusually honest and the family sounds truly surprised. A ban on pits may have saved this baby’s life.

  6. I wish those dogs were both DNA’d.
    The Dalmatian has
    spots, but it isn’t the only breed with spots. Dalmatians are not very smart; neither are their owners.

    Years ago a neighbor asked me to look at the ear of Purdy, the stupid Dalmatian. I tried, and the owner turned Purdy loose on me. Purdy leapt at me and latched onto my ear to the necessity of nine sutures. Then her owner told all the neighborhood kids that I had put ketchup on my neck under my ear
    and that Purdy had only snapped at me. Is that owner stupidity? Don’t tell children your dog bites.

    Another breed with a similar type of spotting is the Australian cattle dog. That breed can be downright nasty. They are brave enough to herd cattle that kick. Cattledogs have been intentionally bred to pitbulls as another way to make nasty dogs.

    The loss of this baby is so tragic and unnecessary.
    Will folks ever learn?

    • It shouldn’t be left up to individual people to learn. We should all learn as a society, and all benefit from getting rid of dangerous dog breeds.

  7. Some commenters are asking, “Why establish a GoFundMe for parents who created tragic risks with potentially dangerous dogs along with a trampoline?” Because the parents are young and already struggling. Most families are unprepared for a sudden $20,000 cost for a funeral — struggling families are the least prepared for this. The sudden loss of a child deeply affects community members and they want to help. Poor decision making by adults does not equate to not helping celebrate this child’s life.

    • Thank you, Colleen. I do feel at times comments toward the parents of victims can be very cruel. Yes, they assumed a risk they shouldn’t have, but I have to remember that pro-pitbull propaganda is still incredibly prominent. I succumbed to it myself just a few years ago and adopted a pit mix from a shelter. We returned it after 3 weeks because of aggression and I still thank God all the time that nothing worse happened because of my stupidity. Your work is very important. Every child’s life is so precious. Every victim’s life is precious, period, and it’s unconscionable how little media coverage these deaths get – though I admit I have trouble feeling compassion for the pit breeder who was recently killed by his own dogs…

  8. “The child’s father, Ricky Rohena, told NBC Connecticut the dog that killed baby Lennox had not behaved aggressively before.”

    And herein lies the problem with parents that own big dogs then have babies. With pitbulls, even more so.

    Your big dog should be nowhere near your infants and toddlers. When the kid walks by, the dog should walk away. With babies, the dog needs to be boundry-trained to stay at least 4 feet away at all times.

    Because a dog is faster than your kid for sure, faster than any adult and it only takes ONE mistake and it’s all over because toddlers and infants are fragile. Nobody has time to correct that one mistake.

    It doesn’t take much to knock a child down the stairs, poke out an eye with a toenail, bump them into something dangerous, or kill them with one jaw snap.

    Add 1000x more diligence if it’s a dog known to be aggressive towards humans.

    Better yet, don’t get a dog with a history of attacking children if you plan to have children.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Right now I have a lovely lab that is the sweetest thing. He brings me water & other things, picks up anything I drop & is a wonderful service dog. However, my daughter’s friend came to stay with me when she was being abused by her child’s father & I had the hardest time getting her to understand that she had to keep an eye on her 3 yr old son or keep my dog in a different room! She left & then needed to come back so I printed out every one of these articles about the children who were killed by dogs in the past 30 days & I told her that she would not be allowed to stay with us if she couldn’t make sure she wasn’t leaving her son unsupervised with my dog! She felt that vaping around her asthmatic son was more dangerous than leaving him alone while she went outside to vape! He pulled Bailey’s tail a few times, poked him in the eye & other typical toddler behaviors, of course my dogs a well socialized Labrador retiver whose been trained to ignore those tail pulls but he’s still a dog! She had an Australian cattle dog that had to be put down for attacking a relatives child so it’s not that she wasn’t aware of the fact that dogs& toddlers don’t mix either! Sometimes you can’t fix stupidity! Personally I saw no reason to have a dog until my kids were old enough to take care of it! They got a little cocker spaniel puppy when they were over 12 years old! Because they don’t have to be bitten by a dog to get killed or hurt! When my kids were toddlers a relative brought them an older puppy who was larger & they were playing with it outside & then my mom ran into the bathroom. When she came back my 2 yr old was gone the dog dragged her by her wrist that was trapped in its leash down to the train tracks when a train was coming! I don’t know how that engineer stopped his train in time but she survived that & I informed all the people in my children’s life that I had purposely not gotten a dog because they were too little to safely be around dogs & if anyone else wanted them to have a gift money for college was a great choice! The dog went home with one of the many deputies who came to look for her on the thousands of acres that were available for her to be lost on!

      • More and more I’m of the belief that there needs to be some kind of “Dog ownership withdrawal” program available.

      • I had a kid with a parent like that visiting me, back when I was training dogs.

        The kid just *would not stop* poking at a scared dog, in a sealed crate (a kind of crate that’s solid with just air holes we specially built for scared dogs to crate train them because it was quiet for them in there and no visuals, unlike wire crates).

        Eventually, I told her if she couldn’t discipline her five-year-old son, I would. She granted permission.

        And I did. Made him (after an hour of tantrums) sit for ten minutes in a chair.

        After that, he was good as gold. I took out another dog for him to pet, he “walked” a huge (kid friendly, trained) dog around the driveway and thought that was the best thing, ever.

        Kids, dogs, they all have basic needs for discipline combined with positive attention.

  9. Remember that the safest pitbull might be the obviously vicious
    one, as people recognize vicious dogs and stay away from.

    The most dangerous pitbull might be the one that seems to love the family and friends and suddenly “snaps”.
    That dog kills babies.

    Everyone with pitbulls needs to be prepared.

    • Good to bring up points, Rachel.

      Owners who state that their pit is “smiling” should understand that it will smile just as happily as it bites and tears away flesh.

      It will smile then just as happily as ever.

  10. Our local animal shelters are almost exclusively pit mixes. All other breeds are picked up by breed specific rescues and they charge much more for adoption. However, by looking vigilantly we managed to find a lab/boxer mix, a Shih Tzu, and a chiweenie before the other rescues got them. I remember a case I think on Dr. Phil where the mom wanted the dogs out of the house once the baby was born and the dad didn’t. Dr. Phil pointed out that the baby’s face when it begins to crawl and then walk is going to be right at the height of the dog’s mouth. I thought that was insightful.

    • Angelia, 1000x what you said.

      For Decades at our local humane, most of the “good” dogs have gone out the back door to breed/small dog rescues. So, instead of being cheap dogs, they’re farmed out to places where they will go for anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars. Pitbull mixes (despite the ban), enthusiastic huskies (not a good choice for most people/families in a city) and protection dog mixes are what’s left.

      It’s a money racket.

      I keep hearing these *huge sob stories* from people about their dogs coming from (name that country) when the reality was–they’ve been conned by the rescue into paying extra fees for a dog that came out the back door of the local pound or was born in a puppy mill and purchased by the “rescue”

  11. What’s really sad is that for every one of these fatalities reported on this site, there are dozens of serious non-fatal injuries that occur from pit bull attacks. Our county dog warden’s investigator told me recently that in a one-week period, there were 14 dog bites reported in our NE Ohio County. 12 of them were by pitbulls including a man who had to have part of his arm amputated after his girlfriend’s pitbull who he was familiar and friendly with snapped for no reason and attacked him. He also told me that our county had 12 ‘kills” in the same one week reporting period. He asked me if I knew what a “kill” is and I told him no. He said it is when one dog kills another dog. He continued on that all 12 of the kills were perpetrated by pitbulls.

    • I keep saying this and I’ll go on saying it. Not surprised Eddie that the dogs killed by dogs were killed by pitbulls.

      A dog that is bred to be, or is, aggressive to other dogs is a public danger. Period. Depending on size and breed, is the danger to the public it represents.

      Because no matter how friendly the idiot owner *thinks* it is to humans–at some point a human is going to object to having their own dog menaced or attacked by the aggressive dog and the aggressive dog WILL attack that human to get to its target. Most major human bites I saw dog training were a result of *the owner* trying to get their dog aggressive dog to stop an attack. Or, after being dog aggressive for some time, the dog attacked the owner and THEN they suddenly clued in that there was a problem. (not including the “I’m annoyed, nips)

      Anyone who owns a dog that is severely dog aggressive has a duty to fix that dog. And if they cannot fix it, to euthanize it.

      “It’s scared” isn’t the excuse people think it is.

      I’m scared of muggers but I can’t punch all the people I see in the ATM line-up because one might be a potential mugger.

    • Eddie, you’re absolutely right. I often go on other sites that report the kind of life-limiting injuries that occur day in and day out. I live on a corner lot and like to garden. Lately, a slight, young woman is walking by with her two hulking pit bulls on a loosely held leash. Someone more astute here (I think Boni?) described the posture of pit bulls as always ahead of the owner, leaning forward as if on the hunt. These dogs walk just like that. (In fact, I very rarely see any dogs heeling, something I always trained my dogs to do.) Anyway, I slowly leave my yard when I see these two potential maulers dragging this woman down my street. What comes to my mind is a lovely African American woman who was gardening in her front yard. Two loose pits tore off BOTH her arms. The image of that poor soul who would spend the rest of her life crippled by those hellish mutants still haunts me. This is one of countless stories the public doesn’t hear about. As far as “kills” I believe pit bulls/mixes kill about 20k small animals and livestock each year. Pit bull owners are NOT animals lovers.

  12. We are aware of this (in its meaning). We continue to wait for regional studies for dog bite injuries Covid/post-Covid period to be published to see what these trends are. It sounds terrible in NE Ohio.

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