June 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Baby boy dies after being mauled by dog; animal to be euthanized

Springfield Township— A hunting dog that fatally mauled a 2½-month-old baby boy in his home Sunday will be euthanized, according to Oakland County Animal Control.

“We’re waiting for the sign off from the owners,” said Joanie Toole, chief of operations for the Oakland County Animal Control.

The dog will then be transported to a facility in Lansing and tested for rabies, Toole said.

The baby died from injuries suffered after the incident that took place in the 8000 block of Tindall Road, deputies said.

Oakland County Animal Control responded and took custody of the dog and Child Protective Services was contacted and advised of the investigation.

"This is a tragic incident and it is a sad reminder to keep animals away from babies no matter the circumstances," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “Animal behavior, whether intended as playful or territorial, can have a devastating impact on small babies. "

Deputies received a report at 11:41 a.m. that a dog had attacked a baby boy. The first deputy to arrive found the child's 26-year-old father placing him in the front seat of a truck in the driveway of the residence. The baby had blood coming from his head and around his throat and was having trouble breathing, according to the deputy, who began CPR.

The Springfield Township Fire Department arrived and took over CPR of the infant, who was transported to Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township.

Genesys emergency room doctors determined that the baby needed to be transported to Royal Oak William Beaumont Hospital. The baby arrived via helicopter at Beaumont and was pronounced dead shortly after.

A preliminary report indicates the mother's 18-year-old brother was holding the baby on the couch in the living room. The 26-year-old mother was in the same room folding clothes and the father was asleep in a bedroom.

The brother told deputies he was holding the baby when the dog jumped on the couch and the brother pushed it away. The mother sat down next to the brother and the dog then jumped on the couch and began biting the infant’s head and throat area. The mother and brother began fighting with the dog and screaming for the father. The father responded and put his hands inside the dog’s mouth to pry the dog’s jaws open.

Once the dog released the baby, it ran into a cage in a back bedroom. The father had cuts to his hands that will require stitches. The father grabbed the baby and went to his truck to take him to the hospital as the first deputy arrived on the scene.

The infant lives at the home with the mother and father. There are no other children residing in the home. The dog in question is a Catahoula breed, known to be used for hunting wild boar in Louisiana.

Deputies said the mother’s brother was staying with the family temporarily. Several months ago, the dog bit a neighbor on the arm but did not draw blood in that incident, deputies reported.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com
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Staff writer Candice Williams contributed.