Vidor kindergarten student Tanner Smith dies after attacked by two dogs
Tanner Smith would have turned 6-years-old on Tuesday, but died Sunday after he was attacked by two pit bulls, his grandmother Melissa Phillips told Fox 4 News. Phillips said her grandson was with his mother, Ashley, at a friend’s home when the dogs attacked him. She said he was bitten about 16 times, including a bite to the main artery in his neck. His grandmother said the homeowner shot one of the dogs and the other was taken away by Animal Control. She said her grandson, who was in kindergarten at Vidor Elementary, had a heart condition. Tanner’s mother, who spoke in the background during a phone call, said he was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has had three open heart surgeries. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare heart birth defect at birth where the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped, leaving the ride side of the heart to pump blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.
Child’s dog mauling death devastates community
According to the sheriff’s office, Tanner was with his mother visiting a friend’s home when he was attacked on Sunday evening.
Tanner’s mother believed he was outside with her friend’s father, but later learned he was not at home at the time, according to the sheriff’s office.
That’s when she went outside and found her son had been mauled by the two pit bulls belonging to her friend.
Sheriff’s officials said that when the friend’s father learned about what happened to Tanner, he quickly returned to the house and killed both dogs.
A department spokesman said he did not expect any criminal charges to be filed in the case, saying the dogs were in a fenced-in yard when the attack occurred.
Vidor area child killed in dog attack
Deputies and EMS arrived on scene and began life saving measures. Tanner was taken to a hospital in Beaumont and was later pronounced deceased.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson said investigators are still reviewing the facts. At 4:45 p.m. Monday he said it has been confirmed that the dogs involved in the attack were Pit Bulls. He said the dogs were in their fenced-in domain where the attack happened. He said while it remains an active and open case until all results and facts are reviewed, it does not a appear there will be any criminal charges filed.
Orange County child killed by dogs loved God, basketball and monster trucks
The family says the homeowners are also heartbroken over Sunday night’s events and did everything they could to help. They performed CPR on the boy and stayed with the family at the hospital. Greathouse says the dogs had been around children before, including the homeowners grandchildren, so the attack came as a terrible shock.
“You just hug your kids a little tighter every day because you don’t know when their last day will be,” said Greathouse.
The family says Tanner’s Scooby-Doo themed birthday party will still take place at a local park. The only difference is the birthday boy will be partying up in the clouds.
“We know he’s celebrating without us up there,” said Greathouse.
Family claims daughter was attacked by 2 pit bulls
Posted: Oct 19, 2015 11:36 PM CDT – By Rebeca Trejo, Reporter
Garrett Bean tells us his daughter was bitten by the two pit bulls as the girl and her mother walked home from Dollar General in February.
The girl’s mother did not want to be on camera but assures us they were the dogs from the house on the corner of Aloha Street and Bahama Drive just outside the Vidor city limits, where the dogs stayed.
“It could have been prevented,” said Garrett Bean about Tanner Smith’s death. “When I found out it was the same dogs, I was furious.”
Nine-year-old Shealyn Kendall said she and her mom had walked past the dogs several times, and they didn’t do anything to them. She said back in February was when the dogs attacked the two.
“First a Chihuahua got on my momma. (She) stomped at it, and two dogs came out of the gate,” said Kendall.
Monday evening we stopped by the house where the dogs stayed and saw the Chihuahua Bean’s daughter told us about. However, a chain-link fence stood between the street and the door.
Garrett Bean shared pictures with us to show his daughter’s injuries after the alleged attack. The marks have faded but are still visible. Bean said he filed a report with the sheriff’s office.
“After that I was told they were put under 10-days quarantine,” said Bean. “Then after the quarantine he got his dogs back … The main reason I’m coming out now is because as everybody can tell, it’s happened again, and it’s worse as the dogs actually took a human life.”
Mom Saw Bloody Dog Before Finding Her Son Mauled to Death: ‘He Didn’t Cry Out’
The first sign that something was wrong was the bloody dog.
The animal ran inside its home on Aloha Drive in Vidor, Texas, where Ashley Phillips was visiting a friend.
Phillips’ five-year-old son, Tanner Smith, had been jumping on a trampoline in the fenced-in yard, where the dog had come from and another dog had been.
“When one of the dogs came running in the house and was covered in blood,” Tanner’s aunt, Melinda Greathouse, 28, told INSIDE EDITION. “That’s when my sister ran outside and they found Tanner’s body next to the porch.”
The homeowner’s two pit bulls had mauled the vivacious kindergartener, who was thought to be playing outside under the supervision of the homeowner. But the man was not there during the attack and no one heard the child scream as he was severely bitten more than one dozen times, including once in an artery in his neck, Greathouse said.
Emergency responders rushed Tanner to a nearby hospital, but he could not be saved.
“His whole left side of his head had a hole in it. His ear was gone. There was a lot of what looked like road rash on his face. Did they drag him?” Greathouse tearfully wondered aloud. “He didn’t cry out. Neighbors were out there around that time and they didn’t hear anything. They just heard my sister cry out.”
2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Two Pit Bulls in Orange County, Texas
This morning, Tanner’s mother left a comment on our Facebook post. “I am tanners mother I was there when it happened he was on the trampoline two feet off the ground the next thing we knew he was gone… They drug him off the trampoline. There wasn’t anything we could do,” Ashley Phillips stated. She added in another, “Karen is right, he wasn’t able to make a sound why because the first bite killed him immediately.” One can only imagine the horror of this scene.
No information about the autopsy report has been released. Authorities have not identified the owner of the dogs either, despite two previous attacks and the fatal mauling of a child. It is unknown if criminal charges are possible. At what point will county officials admit that the local ordinance is insufficient, particularly regarding dangerous dog breeds? Simply calling the horrific and preventable death of Tanner, “a terrible tragedy” will not prevent new life-altering attacks.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bull Terriers need regular vigorous physical activity. They crave mental and physical stimulation. Regular long walks and plenty of play time can be ideal ways to burn energy. If their exercise needs are not met, they can develop destructive behaviors. They can often excel at physical activities, such as jogging and weight pulling. Some clubs admit them to agility and fly ball; others don’t because it is dangerous to have APBTs off leash near other dogs and the clubs don’t want to bear the liability in the event of an attack.
The American Pit Bull Terrier needs early socialization and training. Since they are active dogs, they can become unmanageable quickly. They need a firm and consistent handler that can maintain control at all times. They are eager to please and can learn tricks if trained patiently. They are very active both indoors and outdoors. Despite proper training and socialization, many dogs may be hard to manage and can still have unwanted behaviors.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has a history and bloodline deep rooted in the blood sports of animal baiting and dogfighting. As with all breeds, they retain their original traits. They often to do not accept other animals, especially dogs, and can be extremely aggressive towards them. They may accept animals they are raised with, but have been known to kill other family pets even after years of living together happily.
Most APBT puppies get along fantastically with other animals, including dogs. Puppies often love to play with and have companionship with other animals. This often gives owners a false sense of security. As the APBT matures, their relationship with other animals can change drastically. Often dog aggression issues emerge from 1-3 years in age, but some dog’s exhibit aggression as early as 6 months of age. They often will actively seek out other dogs to engage in fighting with and have broken their collars, crashed through windows, and torn through fences to do so, and one recently leaped from an apartment 2nd story balcony, to get to a dog. They can get along with other dogs at times, but things can escalate quickly and they can attack suddenly and for no apparent reason. They often redirect onto humans who try to break up the fight14. Extreme caution should be used with all animal interactions and owners should never be completely comfortable. They can be unpredictable and a dog that plays nicely with dogs for years can suddenly change. Many owners have been shocked to see their beloved pet’s fighting instincts suddenly surface. It is highly recommended that the APBT is separated from other animals in the household when they cannot be supervised15. This is not a breed that is suitable for interactions at off leash dog parks16.
2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities in the U.S.
Updated after each fatality following fact finding research on Protect Children From Pit Bulls & Other Dangerous Dogs on Facebook
35 Dog Bite Related Fatality
27 by Pit Bull/Pit Bull Mix
2 by Rottweiler
1 by Golden/mixed breed
1 by American bulldog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Labrador mix
By Age :
By State :
NM – 1 death
MD – 1 death
FL – 3 death
IA – 1 death
AR – 1 death
PA – 1 death
W. VA – 1 death
TX – 5 death
SD – 1 death
AR – 1 death
GA – 1 death
NV – 1 death
IL – 1 death
OK – 3 death
NC – 2 death
OH – 1 death
SC – 1 death
AL – 1 death
CA – 3 death
WV – 1 death
NY – 2 death
TN – 1 death
MI – 2 death
Names and ages of the deceased:
Unidentified Native American – about 40 y,o. – Gallup, NM – Pack of Feral Dogs [1.2.15]
Eugene W. Smith – 87- Frederick, MD – 1 Pit Bull [1.7.15]
Declin Moss – 18 months – Brooksville, FL – 2 Pit Bulls [1.19.15]
Malaki Mildward – 7yrs old – College Springs, IA – 2 Pit Bull/Bull Dog Mix [1.22.15]
Fredrick Crutchfield – 63 yrs old – Johnson county, AR – Pit Bull [ 2.4.15]
TayLynn DeVaughn – 2 yrs old – Pittsburgh, PA – Pit Bull [2.22.15]
Roy Higgenbotham – 62 yrs old – WHEELING, W.Va. – Pit Bull [3.8.15]
Betty Wood – 78 yrs old – SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX – Rottweiler [3.12.15]
Julia Charging Whirlwind – 49 yrs old – WHITE RIVER, SD – Pending [3.14.15]
Detrick Johnson – 36 yrs old – JEFFERSON COUNTY, AR – 7 Pit Bulls [3.21.15]
Neta Lee Adams – 81 yrs old – WASHINGTON, GA – Pending [3.31.15]
Kenneth Ford – 79 yrs old – NYE COUNTY, NV – Pit Bulls [4.14.15]
Brayden Wilson – 2 months old – Dallas, TX – Pit Bull [4.19.15]
Gaege Anthony Ramirez – 7 yrs old – NEW BRAUNFELS, TX – Pending [5.2.15]
James W. Nevils III – 5 yrs old – Chicago, IL – Pit Bull – [5.25.15]
Jordon Tyson Collins – 3 yrs old – Lawton, OK – Pit Bull – [6.28.15]
Norberto Legarda – 83 yrs old – Pecos, TX – Pit Bulls – [7.2.15]
Joshua Phillip Strother – 6 yrs old – Hendersonville, NC – Pit Bull – [7.7.15]
Annie L. Williams – 71 yrs old – Shaker Heights, OH – Pit Bull – [7.12.15]
Carolyn Lamp – 67 yrs old – COWETA, Ok – 3 Pit Bull/1 Rottweiler – [7.24.15]
Porsche Nicole Cartee – 25 yrs old – SPARTANBURG, SC – Pit Bull – [8.22.15]
Cathy Wheatcraft – 48 yrs old – DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. – Pit Bull – [8.24.15]
Barbara McCormick – 65 yrs old – Autauga County , AL – Golden/Mix – [8.2.15]
Emilio Rios Sr – 65 yrs old – Riverside County, CA. Pit Bulls – [8.8.15]
Carmen Reigada – 91 yrs old – Miami, FL. – American bulldog,Rhodesian Ridgeback, Labrador mix – [9.22.15]
Lamarkus Hakeem Hicks – 2 yrs old – Martinsburg, WV – Pit Bull – [9.28.15]
Edgar Brown – 60 yrs old – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. – Pit Bulls – [10.16.15]
Tanner Smith – 5 yrs old – Vidor, TX – Pit Bulls – [10.19.15]
Amiyah Dunston – 9 yrs old – Elmont, NY – Pit Bull – [11.8.15]
Anthony Riggs – 57 yrs old – Madison County ,TN – Rottweiler – [11.12.15]
Carter Hartle – 11 months old – MARSHALL, NY – Pit Bull – [11.15.15]
Xavier Strickland – 4 yrs old – Detroit, MI – Pit Bulls – [12.2.15]
Rebecca Lillian-Kay Hardy – 22 yrs old – Port Huron, MI – Pit Bull, Husky-mix – [12.3.15]
Maria Torres – 57 yrs old – Gridley, CA – Pit Bulls – [12.16.15]
Nyjah Espinosa – 2 yrs old – Miami-Dade, Fl – Pit Bull Type (American Bulldog) – [12.20.15]
On average in 2015 someone was killed by a pit bull every 13 days. Some of these pit bull attacks were from the family dog that was well trained and had never shown signs of aggression before. The only common factor in these severe and often fatal attacks is not abuse or lack of training, it is breed. Choose the breed of dog you trust the lives of your loved ones with wisely.