Alabama girl killed by dog while playing outside - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Alabama girl killed by dog while playing outside

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(WTVM) -

Residents of Tallassee, Ala. are devastated by the horrific death of a four-year-old little girl who is not being identified. Police say she was mauled by one—or possibly two—dogs while playing outside yesterday afternoon.

The little girl was playing outside her grandfather's home at 1077 Lower Tuskegee Rd. The yard at the home does not have a fence.

Neighbor Janet Kahn says, "I met the little girl. The man who lives there is the man I rented the trailer from. It was his granddaughter. He loved her dearly. That little girl was everything to him."

Chief Jimmy Rodgers with the Tallassee Police Department says, "In talking to the grandfather who was supervising the child, the child had been paying outside, and when he went to check on her, he saw a dog on top of the child, and it appeared to be dragging the child. He ran out, and the dog ran off, and he carried her into the house, and called 911.>

Police found the little girl's lifeless body on the sofa. 

"It has been very heart wrenching for each and every one of my guys who are a part of this investigation," says Rodgers.

The grandfather identified a neighbor's dog—a white German Shepherd mix—as the animal he saw on top of his granddaughter.

"The dog was dangerous to me," says Kahn. It's an animal she wanted to kill on at least one occasion, when it attacked her son's chicken coop.

"There was blood all over the place, and the chickens were eaten. The dog had eaten the chickens. My son wanted to kill the dog. We both did," says Kahn, also noting that the animal was aggressive towards people as well.

Kahn says the owners are nice people with kids. They tried to keep the dog pinned up, but it often got out. "I feel sorry for the people who own that dog, and the pain they are going through that it took a child's life," she says.

Rodgers says, "We are working with the District Attorney's Office to evaluate the case, and present our case to them to determine whether there is any likelihood of charges coming out of this related to the owners of the dog."  

Police have quarantined two dogs—the German Shepherd mix, and a lab mix—to see if forensic evidence can be gathered, linking the dogs to the deadly attack. A judge will decide if dogs will be put down.

For now, a community is devastated at losing an innocent child in such a horrific attack.

"She was precious. She was a precious little angel. And to be mauled by dog—a dog that has already killed chickens and bit at least one other person. It's very heartbreaking that things like this can go on, and nobody does anything until something like this happens."

Chief Rodgers says police were never notified about this dog prior to the attack. However, since the death, multiple neighbors have told police they believed the dog was dangerous.

There is no leash law where the child was killed.

Police urge everyone to keep their dogs fenced in, and leashed.

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