The dog attack that took place Sunday afternoon on a leafy street in southwestern Michigan happened so quickly — and was so tragic — that neighbors say they can’t get out of their minds what they witnessed.
Rebecca Davis told WWMT News that she heard frantic screaming around 4 p.m. outside her home in Sturgis, about 125 miles west of Detroit.
Rushing outside, Davis told the news station she found her next-door neighbor, Jacey McNeal Wolkins, sobbing hysterically over the body of her 4-year-old daughter, Kiyana McNeal.
Their new dog, which had just been delivered to their home that day, had reportedly attacked the little girl out of nowhere, Davis told the station.
“She said she had just bought the dog and the [seller] probably hadn’t been gone five minutes — and just that fast the dog attacked,” Davis said.
The girl had apparently been trying to give a treat to the dog when it suddenly lunged for her neck, WWMT reported.
McNeal Wolkins tried in vain to stop the attack, getting bitten in the process; she was later taken to a hospital with injuries to her head and hands, according to the Associated Press.
Davis’s husband, Kenneth, told WWMT that the man who sold them the dog rushed back to the home and tried to perform CPR on Kiyana.
“He was really distraught,” Kenneth Davis told the station. “You can imagine it, seemed that he was crying and he was really bad. You can imagine how he would feel.”
Kiyana died from the attack, and the dog, identified as a Doberman Pinscher or Doberman mix, was taken away by animal control, according to the AP.
Dog attack that killed 4-year-old leaves family heartbroken
Kiyana McNeal was the light of their lives, May said, well loved by extended family on both sides of the state.
The little girl had grown up around cats and dogs and was gentle around animals, May said.
“They had a little dog that Kiyana loved,” May said, and about eight months ago, her mother also adopted a Doberman named Willow. McNeal Wolkin had posted on Facebook in January that she’d like to know if anyone knew of a Doberman needing a home. That dog died from cancer about two months ago, and McLean wanted another Doberman.
She had apparently found young Doberman for sale in Illinois.
May said they were told that the man who owned the 3-year-old dog delivered it Sunday, and spent about 30 to 45 minutes with McNeal Wolkins and her daughter, allowing them to become acquainted with the dog, before leaving to return to Illinois.
But about 5 minutes before the attack, McNeal Wolkins called him and asked him to come back, May said. She did not know why she had asked that he return, but the man arrived back at the house in the 63000 Block of Fish Lake road as the dog was attacking and McNeal Wolkins was struggling to get the large animal away from the child.
May said they were told Kiyana had been trying to train the dog with a biscuit when it attacked.
“The dog came sniffed it once, then sniffed it again, and then came and attacked,” May said. She said she is not sure how they were able to get the dog to stop, but that neighbors saw the man from Illinois carrying the child’s blood-covered body outside to start performing CPR before emergency workers arrived.
Their efforts were unsuccessful.
The police officer told them that McNeal Wolkins was bitten, too, on her head and arms.
McNeal Wolkins has two teenage sons who live with their father, according to May.
Johnson, too, is distraught.
“She was our world,” May said.
May said she hopes sharing their families’ heartache will help protect some other child.
“I want people to know – well, sometimes we forget that animals are animals because we love them,” May said. “But small children are at such risk, we need to find a safe environment to bring animals together with children.”
Neighbors: ‘No warning’ before dog killed 4-year-old
SHERMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Neighbors say a 4-year-old girl killed by her new dog was giving the animal a biscuit when it suddenly attacked.
The mauling happened at 4:03 p.m. Sunday at the family’s home in the 63000 block of W. Fish Lake Road, located in Sherman Township, north of Sturgis.
“I was in my bedroom and I heard the screaming. And I heard somebody holler, ‘Becky!’” said Becky Davis.
Davis and her husband Kenneth live next door to the girl they identified as Kiyana McNeal and her mother, Jacey McNeal Wolkins.
They say Wolkins adopted the dog, described as a Doberman or Doberman mix, shortly before the attack. Kiyana’s mother told Becky Davis the girl was training the dog with a treat.
“The dog come and sniffed it. And then stepped back. Then come, sniffed it again,” recounted Becky Davis. “And evidently the third time he got her.”
The Davises say the dog grabbed Kiyana by the neck. Her mother was injured trying to fight the dog off. Family members say she has since been released from the hospital.
Neighbors saw the child being carried from the home as they waited for help.
“The mother and the guy who brought the dog, they had the baby on the ground doing CPR. It didn’t do any good,” said Becky Davis.
A YouCaring page set up to cover Kiyana’s funeral expenses said the dog attacked the young girl as its old owner began to leave.
“The man that had it (the dog) said he’d never bothered a child or nothing before. No, there was no warning,” Davis added.
Community mourns loss of little girl killed by dog
The Doberman Pinscher was created from a mix of German hunting dogs. Later it was used to perform duties as a watchdog and bodyguard. It was bred to be fearless, intimidating, aggressive, and ferocious, to complete the role as a personal protection dog, police dog, and war dog. Later the Doberman was used for tracking, sentry, guarding, police work, military work, and search and rescue (SAR). These canines are not used as much today in these roles as other breeds replaced them. The breed has since been refined into the Doberman it is today.
Most breeders are now selecting for a less aggressive dog that can fit well into a companion dog environment. Changing the inherited traits of a breed can be a slow process taking many generations to evolve. Although improvements can be seen, there are Doberman Pinschers that still possess the older characteristics. It is important to keep in mind that both types of Doberman Pinscher bloodlines still exist today in Europe and America. Bloodlines should be determined before selecting a Doberman Pinscher as a family pet.
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