D.A. to review case of girl killed by dog outside Pittsburgh
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — A district attorney will review the case of a 2-year-old girl who was fatally mauled by a dog outside Pittsburgh Sunday night.
Allegheny County police and the Medical Examiner’s Office say the dog attacked Tay’lynn DeVaughn inside a home on Fleetwood Street in West Mifflin around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.
“I came out of the kitchen and the dog dropped the baby. His name was Jake and my baby was gone,” said Cory DeVaughn.
DeVaughn told Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic that a pit bull mix owned by the boyfriend of the toddler’s aunt attacked his daughter.
DeVaughn quickly called 911, but there wasn’t much medics could do. The girl was pronounced dead at Jefferson Memorial Hospital.
2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Family Pit Bull in Pittsburgh Suburb
Pit Bull Kills Toddler
West Mifflin, PA – On Sunday evening, 2-year old TayLynn DeVaughn was viciously attacked and killed by a family pit bull-mix while visiting her aunt’s home on Fleetwood Drive in West Mifflin, a Pittsburgh suburb. The pit bull belongs to her aunt’s boyfriend. The child’s father, Cory DeVaughn, told WPXI, “I came out of the kitchen and the dog dropped the baby. His name was Jake and my baby was gone.” The toddler was rushed to Jefferson Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead.
The distraught father also said that it was the second time his daughter had been around the pit bull-mix. DogsBite.org adds, the second time and last time. DeVaughn said he doesn’t blame the owners and that everyone is hurting right now. “She has a lot of people that love her a lot. People all over love my baby,” DeVaughn said. Allegheny County police said the county district attorney’s office would review the case for possible charges once the police investigation is complete.
“You gotta be careful whose house you take your child to, so it won’t happened to your child what happened to mine.” – Cory DeVaughn
TayLynn DeVaughn, 2-years old, was attacked and killed by a pit bull while visiting her aunt’s home in the 3900 block of Fleetwood Drive. She was transported to Jefferson Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy showed that TayLynn died from multiple sharp wounds and multiple blunt force injuries to the head and neck as a result of the dog attack. Her death was ruled accidental by the medical examiner’s office. The child’s father, Corey DeVaughn, told the media that the day of the attack was the second time his daughter had been around the pit bull. He also indicated the dog was a male, calling the animal “Jake,” which suddenly attacked his daughter. “I came in the living room and the dog was just shaking her,” DeVaughn said. “When he let her go, she was gone,” DeVaughn said. West Mifflin animal control officer Ken Ferree, who impounded the dog, said the dog was a 3 to 4-year old pit bull-mix and weighs about 80 pounds. The dog is expected to be euthanized. [source citations]
American Pit Bull Terrier
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19thcentury. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.
The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6. The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.
The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
The APBT is of medium intelligence, and it is athletic. They have plenty of energy and exuberance for life. They are affectionate companions are often referred to as a “nanny dog”, which leads many families to believe that they are suitable companions for children. Many can live happily with children and never have an issue, but there are many cases of the family pit bull suddenly attacking or killing a child in the household. The Pit Bull advocacy group BADRAP recently retracted their original “nanny dog” statements (https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399)13. In 2013 and 2014, in the United States, 27 children were killed by Pit Bulls and their mixes. Most of these children were killed by family pet pit bulls that had never been neglected or abused and had always loved the child. As with all breeds, the traits needed for their original tasks remain in the dogs – in this case, the sudden explosive aggression that was necessary to survive in the fighting pit. An APBT may never show this aggression, but if it does there will be no warning and the attack will not be easy to stop. Extreme caution should always be taken when this breed interacts with children. They are fun loving dogs that have “clownish” behaviors. Despite, their many positive qualities, this breed may not be suitable for everyone. Their high energy requires a family that can accommodate and appreciate this aspect of their personality. They usually do best with active families. Many American Pit Bull Terriers get calmer as they age and an older dog may work for a more reserved family.