Las Vegas Sun

August 28, 2014

Currently: 82° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

First birthday ends in tragedy when family dog attacks and kills boy

Dog attacks, kills infant

KSNV coverage of fatal dog attack and interview with grief-stricken father, April 28, 2012.

A 1-year-old boy died early Saturday after being attacked by his family's dog while celebrating his birthday Friday, Henderson Police said.

The boy was at his grandmother's house on the 1600 block of Navarre Lane near Arroyo Grande Boulevard on Friday, police said. It was shortly before 10 p.m. when he crawled over to the family's dog and started to pet him, police said.

The dog -- a 6-year-old Mastiff/Rhodesian mix weighing about 120 pounds –- latched his jaws around the boy's head and began shaking him, police said. The grandmother attempted to pull the boy from the dog while other family members rushed to help, police said.

Henderson rescue workers took the boy to St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus, police said. He was then flown by helicopter to UMC's Trauma Unit.

The boy died from his injuries at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, police said. The boy had turned 1 on Thursday.

Henderson Animal Control officers took the dog to the Henderson animal shelter, where he will be quarantined and observed for signs of rabies over the next 10 days, police said. The dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination but is being declared vicious and will be euthanized after the observation period, police said.

The family, which has owned the dog since he was a puppy, voluntarily relinquished ownership to animal control, police said.

The boy had been around the dog since he was born, police said. The family said the dog has never been aggressive toward people. There were no signs of neglect and no previous calls reported about the dog in the past. Officers are still investigating why the dog attacked the boy, police said.

The Clark County Coroner's Office will release the name of the boy later.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 9 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Very sad story.

  2. Infants and dogs. Not good. I don't care how long you've had your dog. A baby will not interpret the signs from a dog to back off. I've seen it before. Babies and small kids don't know the signs that the dog has had enough of having his nose patted, his ears pulled or whatever.

  3. This is an interesting insight into the personality of this dog.

    As so many people say, their pets are their children.
    Correspondingly, many pets behave like children.

    Even more so, is that like kids, they can become jealous of the attention parent pay to new children, when the Pet used to be the center of attention.

    Similar to sibling rivalry, this pet responded in the way they would to other 'litter' rivals and engaged in fighting.

    Unfortunately, a 1 year, does not fight like a dog.

    And tragedy resulted.

    People need to think about their pets and not just discard them, when a new toy kid comes along.

  4. Allowing small kids around large dogs big enough to kill them if they go crazy (like humans, animals sometimes do crazy things against their nature) is not worth the risk. The wise will take heed from this story, regardless of how nice their large dog is. You have to ask yourself, would this outcome be something you want to worry about, knowing it's happened 100's of times in the past? Sure, the risk is small (maybe only happens to 1 in 100,000 dogs) but is your kids life worth playing Russian Roulette?

  5. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  6. That's a very sad story. My condolances to the family..

  7. Certain breeds should be exterminated. Why people own them is incomprehensible.

  8. What a sad and tragic event.

    Mastiffs are gentle giants, providing proper training is done.

  9. It truly breaks my heart to hear of this very tragic situation: a loss of a precious child and the loss of a valued family pet. The grief must insurmountable for this family.

    My heartfelt thoughts, prayers, and condolences.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star