Toddler brutally attacked by family dog; grandma loses fingertips during the ordeal

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KTVI) - A 22-month-old girl is in critical condition after she was attacked by her family`s  dog.
It happened at a St. Charles County home. The little girl is fighting for her life; her grandmother was also seriously hurt as well.

The dog that attacked the child, an 80 pound pit bull mix, has already been euthanized.  The attack happened Thursday night at a home on Essex Street in unincorporated St. Charles County.  Authorities got the call around 6:45pm.

Investigators say the toddler`s grandmother was babysitting the little girl and her two brothers, ages 5 and 8 years old.
Authorities say the pit bull mix was normally kept in a room but it somehow got out just after the grandmother had finished feeding the little girl and put her down.

Investigators say the grandmother tried to get the dog to release the toddler but could not. She told the other kids to get out of the house.  Several family members live in the home.

The other kids ran to a neighbor`s house for help. That neighbor came back and stabbed the dog multiple times with a steak knife.
The dog only released the bite after the stabbing.

The child was rushed to St. Joseph`s Medical Center in St. Charles then transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children`s Medical Center.

Investigators say the toddler was basically bit all over her body.  The neck wound was the most serious.

We`re told the grandma lost two finger tips on each hand trying to get the dog off her granddaughter.

No charges are expected in the case.  Authorities are calling what happened "a tragic accident."

184 comments

    • dalou

      They are a gentle breed, it’s humans that make them bad. People need to do their research before before making ignorant comments. You see whats on the news and think they are bad because of it. There are little dogs that are known to more aggressive than a Pit but they never talk about them on TV.

      • JJ

        I agree Dalou. I just want to make it clear that this was not the grandmother’s fault. It was not her dog. The little girl is my niece and I am devastated, but I am not anti-pitbull. I see a comment by a JJ, I don’t know if there is another JJ or if the comment was meant to be directed at me. I see that it says pitbull owners are stupid. I did not make that comment. I am just praying for my niece and my sister right now.

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        A good pit bull was bred to show zero signs of aggression before they attack. True to their heritage and genetic makeup to fight they do not need to be trained to attack. The breed is also not mad when they attack. A pit bull attacking is as happy as a retriever retrieving.

      • Andy S.

        first of all, little dogs that aren’t “aggressive” don’t end up killing people

        and second, they are not a gentle breed? it’s then owners fault? it’s impossible to tell what a dog is thinking at any given time, you can predict what an animal will do, but nobody can be 100% certain it will never snap and attack somebody.
        pittbull’s are unpredictable just like any other animal on the planet, however, pittbulls are a lot stronger than the average dog. If one day the pitbull snaps it can overpower almost anyone . Is it really worth the risk owning one if kids are gonna be around it? Would you leave your child alone with one?

      • Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP

        All dogs are normally “aggressive”. What’s not normal is for a dog to attack a human, but this has nothing to do with the breed and everything to do with the breeding, handling, training, care and circumstances which contributed to the attack.

        This story and many of these comments do nothing more than to fuel the fire of misconception about dog breeds and behavior. It’s not the breed which is to blame, but the irresponsible humans for harboring what apparently was known to be a dangerous animal. I see “pit bulls” as well as other dogs that have bitten people and other animals. I agree that a “pit bull” can do more damage than a smaller dog, but any dog will and can attack.

        The lab (labrador retriever) next door just killed one of the owner’s chickens. If that dog had been left alone with a small child, the dog may have attacked the child! People need to get more responsible! Why isn’t the media doing anything to help educate people rather than just sensationalizing and contributing to the myths that certain breeds have more of a propensity to bite and kill?

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        Cindy, dogs are purpose bred and pit bulls were bred specifically to have more of a propensity to bite and kill! This is a fact not a myth. Aggression can exist in any breed but only one breed type was bred specifically for the type of gameness to fight to the death. When other dogs reach this level of aggression it is an anomaly when a pit bulls show this intensity it proves itself to be exactly what it was bred for. Owners do not have to train this trait into their pit bulls nor is it born of abuse or neglect.

    • rosewine

      I’m betting that ‘nephews’ dog was a fighting dog.. and saw the child as bait… Prior to the 1960’s pit bulls were a great family dog. Responsible breeders culled litters of any pup that were aggressive or forceful to keep the breed very gentle… that all changed with drug dealers breeding for the most aggressive traits… sad.. Remember ‘Petey’ from the Little Rascals… Petey was an American Staffordshire Terrier (pit bull). They were nice dogs then!!

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        Pit bulls were never raised to be family pets. Dog men raised fighting pit bulls and did not cull the man biters. The most aggressive pits were bred together to win in the pit.
        Pit bulls gained popularity after dog fighting became illegal. The dog men then released pit bulls into the rescue community. We may have been naive at the on set of believing we could love and train the fight out of the pit bull but it simply isn’t true. It would be easier if they showed aggression all the time. Pit bulls attack without showing any signs prior to the attack and the rest of the time are incredibly lovable. Scary combination.

    • BullyResQ

      Considering children should never be left unattended with any pet, no. Parents are often irresponsible and dogs are then put in a situation they should have never been in in the first place.

      • Ivy

        They could certainly make another baby. Life is life and is not replaceable by another. For many of us our dogs are our children. Just because you think you are a superior life form, doesn’t make it true. Humans do more harm than any other living creature and are the most horrible species on the planet. Perhaps we need to start culling every human who has ever shown any signs of aggression. Lets crucify a group of dog breeds simply because a few of the population do something wrong. This is what is wrong with this planet, humans are all righteous. Good thing to teach your kids that discrimination is completely okay. What percentage of humans commit violent crimes, perhaps it’s the humans that should be exterminated!

      • Wendy Thayer

        CERTAINLY ALL YOU SAY WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY TRUE WHEN DESCRIBING YOURSELF. I offer my kudos for your honest assessment of your being a lesser life form. It is notable that you admit to the complete lack of substance behind your facade of righteous superiority and hate driven discrimination behaviors that as you intimate are quite ugly when seen in a human.. And I too agree it would probably be the best thing if you were culled and commend you for volunteering to be culled to help help eradicate the horrible behaviors you admit to

        I vow your sacrifice will not be in vain!!! I think society as a whole is most relieved that you were somehow directed towards owning pet pit bulls and away from contact of any sort with human children. For this act of selflessness you shall come back to the wheel of life, a rung or two higher. Possibly as an elderly woman’s pet yorkie and you will be granted the boon of not dying in a pit bulls mouth from your punctured lungs, crushed spine , extruded mucous membranes, trailing intestines, missing leg and a shredded brain that popped like a balloon from the pressure of the pit bulls bite across 60% of your body. Then again, maybe that is exactly what you need to experience to become a decent contributing mentally stable human.with a normal sense of empathy and the ability to know right from wrong.

      • Ivy

        Thank you Wendy for the amazing laugh. Thank you for admitting your dismissal of any life other than a humans. Lack of empathy? Where? By simply saying they could make another baby, just the same as someone can get another dog? Actually, I believe there is more enjoyment in the process of making another baby. Oh and I promise you that I am around plenty of children, as are my “Pitbulls”.

      • Wendy Thayer

        OH DEAR IVY,
        You should review that post, the content is very unflattering to you as a person and as a human. I know you thought it was effective as a put down and maybe you even thought it was some sort of rebuttal, but it was neither. For the 2nd time you have fully abased yourself and completely negated your premise. The worst part of all that is you appear to be completely unaware of having done so.

  • Kristy

    if pitbulls are so gentle then why is every story with someone getting hurt involves one of them? I don’t care who you are or how long you have owned the dog, if they want to attack they will. They have that aggressiveness in them. I would never want to own a pitbull and I feel sorry for the children. Carelessness and lack of supervision is a key here.

    • Mandy

      ANY freaking dog can attack. Pits don’t attack nearly as often as other breeds. BUT when they do it’s a terrible outcome in most cases. And I love pits!!! I’ve been around so many and been to dog shows of all bully breeds and never seen one of them try to fight or even growl at a person or dog. The pit breed use to be called “nanny” dog for a reason. They are GREAT pets to have!! You shouldn’t trust ANY dog alone with a child… No matter the breed. My daughter was bit in the face by cocker spaniel years ago and still has a scar from it. So don’t hate on pitties just because you only hear/see on the media about them attacking.

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        The number of bites have remained the same for quite sometime but fatal maulings and maimings hands down are pit bulls and their mixes. I have loved and owned the breed but I consider myself lucky. Too many loved and trained pitties are killing and maiming. Genetics wins out against socialization and training too often to not take action. Parents can be right next to their child and these dogs that were bred to attack without warning do just that. A pit bull type dog is most happy when they are attacking. Pit bull type dogs do not need to be angry or possessive to attack. Also, can we please put the “nanny dog ” myth to rest.
        BAD RAP shared a link.
        23 hours ago
        It’s Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a ‘Nanny’s Dog’? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls (see link for details about vintage photos). While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog – A recipe for dog bites!

  • Bill

    Some breeds are UNPREDICTABLE. You just never know when they will turn from docile to aggressive. Pits, Jack Russells, Dobermans, Chows, Schnausers, Shepherds, just to name a few. My son in laws doberman grew up with the kids and when she was 5 or 6 years old she grabbed my grandson across the face. First time ever for showing aggression. My old police chief had a doberman that had been through the KC canine training program with him and one day he chewed up the chief’s arm.
    You just never know. I have always had Irish Setters and only know of one ever who was aggressive. He protected my oldest daughter from other dogs when she was riding her bike, but never bit a human. Now we have a Catahoula (rescue dog from our local shelter) and you have to watch her with kids. Her tounge is a lethal weapon !

    • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

      Everything you say is true. Yet, the rise in fatal maulings due to pit bulls and their mixes begs the question “What do we do about the rise in ownership of pit bull type dogs that are not an anomaly of the breed but bred to attack without warning “?
      It is time to acknowledge that we have a problem and limit and redirect the breeding of pit bull type dogs. We need to work together but it would help if we stopped blaming the victim and the media and stood up to say ” we are the pit bull community admitting we have a problem and willing to restrict ownership and breeding until we correct it”. This was done in the German Shepherd community and all other breeds that confronted this dilemma. I wish the pit bull community would at least inform new owners of the negative traits , genetic predisposition so that new owners would have all the information.

      • Wendy Thayer

        AHMEN!! If only the pit bull owning demographic were so clear and reasonable, the breed might yet be saved or at least re created with all the easy coat care, loyalty, quick learning and appearance (gagg, yetch, urp, I am a sight hound person I find them acutely not to my taste)) and none of the genetic predisposition to kill, to not need a reason to kill, to like the act of killing, and to not stop once they start, to never signal intentions and never accept another animals body language showing its. submission.

        THAT dear pitbull&h!ters is how you know the current morph of the pit bull is off the chart defective. SURVIVAL is always the top imperative for any living thing and a pack of dogs (wolves) hunts more efficiently with more members. Thus nature built in a safety out password that all canids can read, and when a dog being attacked flashes that body language, every genetically normal canid BACKS OFF , because the point of an attack by a normal dog is for asserting leadership position. For normal dogs it is NEVER about mauling and dismemberment …. it is ALWAYS about SURVIVAL which is 100% reliant upon effective hunting.

        ONLY THE PIT BULL FIGHTS TO THE DEATH, ONLY THE PIT BULL WILL ATTACK FOR NO REASON, AND ONLY THE PIT BULL IS DEVOID OF THE DOMINANCE body language SIGNALS the cue an attack is imminent. AND ONLY THE PIT BULL IS IMMUNE TO THE usually lymbic level response of stopping aggression when presented with another canid’s to submission signals.

        That is how abnormal they are, nothing could be more clear in proving that fact than when an animal behaves in a way that is deleterious to their OWN survival.

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        Cindy, not sure why you are addressing a breed ban. Education only works if pet owners are given more than the positive traits of pit bull type dogs or these tragedies will continue to occur. Also, both Denver and Miami have kept their breed bans in place. While bite statistics remain the same not one fatal attack has occurred in either place since they banned pit bull type dogs.

      • Wendy Thayer

        Cindy,
        The ONLY reason pit bull bans/BSL have failed is because they were not enforced, the lack of enforcement took the form of
        1)A/C purposefully miss identifying pit bulls in both adoptions and seizures,
        2)The proliferation of on line “assistance – service dog certification” packages the only requirement or proof needed is the 198.00$
        3) pit bull owners intentionally miss labeling the breed of their dog to avoid restrictions and HO Insurance coverage problems.
        4) Lack of manpower and/or funding to enforce it.

        In the jurisdictions where the bans WERE enforced the statistics show their efficacy, as made clear in PAKC’s post to you about bite statistics and fatalities. Anyone with even the lightest touch of logical thought will comprehend that if A does B, then removal of A means less of B. The only time that is not the case is when the removal of A is obfuscated. And I will add a personal observation and opinion here;
        If you indeed do have the degrees and experience your bio attributes to you, then YOU are part of the a fore mentioned obfuscation. I will also add that anyone with your level of education and experience who STILL promotes the myth of a “benign pit bull” and advances fable of “owner generated” rather than “genetically engineered” in reference to pit bull attacks, should be ashamed of themselves. Very.
        Why? Simple, anyone with degrees in Natural Science and Higher Education must know that their obfuscation for and advocacy of the pit bull is why it remains available and present in families and communities. Thus, they are also responsible for the gruesome deaths and trail of heart breaking carnage left in it’s wake, because of it’s presence.. IMO your level of “ownership” in that carnage by stint of your education, experience, advocacy and huckstering is enough to make you culpable rather than just negligent.. I think you should put that accomplishment in your bio along with all the others,

    • Amy Webber

      Ummmm… I’m beginning to wonder about that. Some of these comments by pit owners are extremely stupid.

  • MIKE

    I’ll never understand how an adult can own a PITBILL while raising children, What’s more important a child’s health or a happy Pitbull? MAYBE THESE ARE STUPID PEOPLE!

    • Ace Baily

      having such a dog with children is one thing, having that dog in house with children is demonstrating owners lack of common sense.a small child suffers because of such.

  • Hk

    I don’t like pits one bit BUT my family had them they are nice BUT. Forget the dog for one min people who cares it’s dead. Let’s put all this energry into prayers for this little girl and grandmother. Don’t matter who fault is what. It’s over. We need to pray for the grand mother n the grand baby. Please let us know she’s ok. I understand y u don’t want to be contacted after the jerk comment but please know their are good people out here that don’t judge. Have a blessed day.

  • Lissa

    I am sorry to say those are stupid dog owners….they knew that dog was aggressive ! Why did they keep it around knowing kids were there???? I hope that little girl makes it but chances are probably not likely . My heart goes to those kids because the parents didn’t keep harm away from them

    • Dazzette

      I have a yellow lab. She’s 100 lbs and is absolutely the sweetest dog ever. She protects my 7-year-old like crazy (she even runs around the pool making sure she doesn’t get hurt) and would never hurt her or any of the 3 cats we have, or anyone else for that matter. So don’t judge.

  • Nicole Capone

    “A tragic accident?!” More like child endangerment on the parents’ part! To keep a large dog around that must be kept “in a room” normally, because they obviously knew it wasn’t safe around children… That’s not an accident.

  • Phillis Stedman

    How horrible. I hope this little girl and her grandmother recover. You pit bull people are despicable. You care more about your idiot dogs than the people they attack. Time for this madness to stop, Ban the breed!!

    • steve

      Dogs are not idiots… That is a purely human term . What happened is horrible and I hope the little girl and grandmother recover and the little girl does not grow up to hate dogs. But they are just like any other animal and do what they are bred and raised to do. They don’t make a conscious choice to be evil they have no comprehension of right or wrong . If we are condemn a breed of dogs for their nature then we should start destroying people that have shown violent tendencies. Which resulted in genocide if we were to take a “breed” of people on the actions of a few. You sir are the idiot and have obviously not known the uncompromising love of a dog.

      • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

        This type of attack IS what pit bulls were bred to do. Genocide does not apply here. The different breeds are man made. We created each breed selectively. To think of each dog as a individual goes against there being breeds.

  • Kel

    I was just reading these comments…. It’s very sad that these people commenting are arguing about Pit Bulls and their aggression. It shouldn’t matter. The girl is in critical condition and the dog has been euthanized. As it should be. It should only be about hope and a full recovery for this child.

    • Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP

      I don’t know how the dog was ultimately “euthanized,” but stabbing and shooting, if that’s how the dog was killed, is not “euthanasia”. This is tragic for all involved, I am sorry for the young child, and sorry for the dog as well. I’m sorry for any being, human or animal that suffers, especially needlessly due to another person’s ignorance and negligence.

  • Bradley

    I think my favorite load of BS from pit bull fanatics is this “way back when…” and “originally, overseas, these were family dogs!” So, hop in your time travelling ocean liner and go get some of these historic, foreign dogs you blubber on about. In the mean time, remember your pit is a modern american killer.

  • Kip

    First off our thoughts and prayers are with this girl and her family. But I think one thing MANY of you are not seeing in this story is that the dog was a pitbull MIX!! A mutt. I know that most will blame the attack on the pitbull in it and so be it but this dog in particular was NOT an american pit bull terrier. They are a PURE breed of dog , NOT a mix. If you take the time to do your own research, you will see that most of these type of attacks are from pitbull mixes and NOT pure bred APBT’s. So all you poeple that are saying lets just ban and kill all the pitbull terriers are down right prejudice. Should we go ban or kill every person that LOOKS like a child molester or a murderer just because of how they look?? Dogs are individuals, just like poeple. Not all are bad…..

    • Wendy Thayer

      DOH!!!!!! Hey Einstien, think about it, the entire concept of “BREEDS OF DOGS” is based entirely on “prejudice”. And that is true across the board for EVERY ANIMAL BRED BY MANKIND, with a specific look or purpose in mind (( Pay attention Kip ——-> FOR A LOOK OR PURPOSE)) In pit bulls that was fighting and tenacity and no hesitation and stealth. Anyone who buys a Dal for the spots is BEING PREJUDICED, because they didn’t choose any other dogs, only what they liked, spots, so are they unfair evil ignorant racists because they didn’t choose a $h!t bull?? Anyone adopting a Morgan horse IS BEING PREJUDICED” they callously over looked quarters, Arabs, Belgians, why the evil cruel bastids!!!!!! Off with their heads!!!
      PIT BULL worshipers are the ABSOLUTE MOST PREJUDICED ENTITIES ON THE PLANET, they settle for nothing but the PB look and hold it above human life in importance. Like you KIP, you evil prejudiced mean non pit bull dog hating racist~!!!.

      Hey!! If some guy likes women who look like Cindy Crawford, is he prejudiced?? Is he racist??

    • Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP

      Good points. Also a University of Pennsylvania study showed that pit bulls and Rottweilers had an average or below average tendency to bite. It’s not the breed that is to blame here. I understand the emotional cloud when a young child is involved. It is tragic, but it was an accident waiting to happen, and in no way can the dog be blamed, but rather the owners and the adult humans involved who should have known better and taken action to prevent such an accident.

  • Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP

    Speaking as a Registered Nurse and professional certified dog trainer, the parents should be investigated for criminal negligence. It is not just a “tragic accident”.

    I really hate that the supposed mix has to be mentioned as if it has anything to do with the attack. An 80-pound dog of any breed can exhibit aggressive behavior and inflict similar damage.

    I also really hate to see yet another sensational report of a dog attack without any effort whatsoever to discuss why this might have happened and how similar attacks could be prevented in the future. This never should have happened.

    There are many reasons this could have happened, the dog’s breed not being one of them. I’m sorry for all involved.

  • Dazzette

    Why do people have to immediately jump on and start blaming the dog owners? I love pits as much as the next person but the advocates are making things worse by doing heartless things like posting their views on such a tragic story. This was no one’s fault. It is a dog’s nature sometimes to be aggressive no matter what breed they are and what you do to try to train them. Maybe this dog had a medical condition that made him aggressive that the owners didn’t even know about. Maybe this family recently got this dog and were in the process of getting rid of it once they found out it was aggressive. We don’t even know how much of a out this dog was. It does say he was a mix. The media never tells the whole story because there’s a lot of info they don’t think to ask and they WANT to cause debate because they get more ratings, and you sheep do nothing but follow them.

    Prayers to this little girl for a speedy and thorough recovery, prayers to her poor grandmother who must be feeling absolutely terrible right now, prayers to the other poor children who witnessed this, and prayers to the parents and other family members as well.

  • Michellej

    I’m praying for the girl and grandmother… But reading these comments really surprised me, how many people just blame the dog… Like a pitbull puppy is born aggressive. A pitbull puppy starts off like another other puppy. Training and socialization a key to raising a happy dog. My brother-in law has 2 pitbulls in his house with his children and grand-children. No behavior issues. I have a pitbull mix and 2 Chihuahuas. My Chihuahuas are more aggressive that my pitbull. She is like a push over compared to them. And she loves kids.. My 2 year old nephew plays with her all the time. Just when are we going to stop blaming the dog and blame the owner for poorly training the dog.

    • PeopleAgainstCanineKillers

      A retriever is born with the predisposition to retrieve. Each breed of dog were bred for a specific job. Pit Bulls were also bred for a specific task. This task was to attack without the body language of other dogs. This attack mode isn’t about training or lack there of but an inherent trait bred into the dog. Breeders of pit bull puppies test for their grip and hold ability before the pups even open their eyes. A pit bull is happy while the attack same as a retriever is happy to retrieve.

  • Elizabeth

    If you have a dog that needs to be separated from the family and kept in a room, you have no,business having that dog. What is the point? Bad parenting, and bad dog ownership.

  • Denise

    It really doesn’t matter whether or not it was a pitbull or a mastiff or a great dane or a wienie dog. It was a dog that had shown aggressive behavior being kept in a home with children. Why? What reason could there be that would make sense? None that I can think of. Prayers going out to the family of this precious little girl who lost her life in such a painful and tragic manner

  • zooks11

    Simply put, border collies do not herd sheep because they are raised on sheep farms; rather, they are raised on sheep farms because they herd. In addition pointers point, retrievers retrieve, and mastiffs guard, all because those traits are part of their breed expectations, meaning strong and continuous selection in the underlying breeding program ”

    Simply put Pit bulls do not attack because they are raised with dog fighters and drug dealers, dog fighters and drug dealers use pit bulls because they attack!

    It is their nature, their genetic truth and reality.!!

    It is not how you raise them rather it is simply what they are.!!

    Just like sled dogs run and pull, it is just their nature.!

    A pit bull type dog is what it is and does what it is. You can no more alter it genetic makeup then you can a collies to herd, a hounds to track, a retriever’s to retrieve, a labs to swim, a pointers to point, a sled dog to run and pull.

    They do what they are and a pit bull type dog is a mauling violent killer that has been bred to be a land shark, nothing you do can change that, even if you have them from birth.

    No matter if you love them, or how you nurture, train, rehabilitate, raise them optimally as normal dogs from birth, you can not change their Genetic reality to Kill, Maul, Maim, Disfigure, Dismember, cause Life Flights or trips to the Intensive Care Unit.

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