An apparent dog attack is believed to have killed a young Arkansas boy in Mount Vernon Thursday morning, according to authorities.
The mother of 9-year-old Robby Taylor alerted officials with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) when her son went missing that day around 9:00 a.m. The worried mother told the department Taylor went out to check the mailbox but didn’t return, according to an FCSO statement.
“When he didn’t return a few minutes later, she looked for him and could not find him,” the statement reads.
The woman told responding officers she “noticed several dogs running from a field near her home” that morning.
FCSO detectives dispatched a team that searched the area after the initial missing report, the boy’s body was found later that day in the field where the dogs had been spotted by Taylor’s mother earlier, police said.
The dogs were two pit bulls that had gotten loose and ended up taking Taylor’s life, according to the boy’s GoFundMe page, which was set up by Kaydi Homme, a friend of the Taylor family who is appealing for support in the aftermath.
“Ive [sic] known her for several years and I was devastated to receive this news,” Homme wrote on the page. “Your thoughts and prayers are much needed in this time of need,” she added.
A crime unit was dispatched to the scene and detectives’ investigation led to two people being questioned by authorities believed to be connected to the dogs.
The FCSO said that with assistance from the Conway Animal Shelter the dogs were successfully removed from their owners, located on Chambers Lane in Mount Vernon.
“The dogs will be quarantined and held for investigative purposes,” the statement reads.
Authorities said the incident is currently under investigation. No additional information was released.
“His family will forever be at a loss and changed from this horrible tragedy,” Homme said.
Pit Bulls Most Prevalent in Shelters
Pit bulls, and any dog deemed to look like one despite not having any pit-bull DNA, are the most prevalent in shelters, according to a study (pdf).
Dogs labeled as “pit bulls” spend more than three times longer in a shelter than similar-looking dogs not deemed pit bulls, reports the Washington Post.
“Pit bulls are left at shelters in record numbers—and since they are difficult to adopt out, reputable shelters (that don’t slam the door in the dogs’ faces) are finding that they must euthanize more pit bulls and pit bull mixes than all other dogs combined,” animal rights group PETA said.
Research On Dog Bite Incidents
Annually, about 9,500 Americans are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries.
In a 13-year analysis, the website says that of 433 fatal dog attacks in the United States, pit bulls contributed to 284 deaths, or 66 percent of them. Rottweilers, the second on the list, inflicted 10 percent of attacks that resulted in human death, the report says, while German shepherds accounted for 4.6 percent of fatal attacks.
Over half of dog bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are pets of their victims.
“As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the likelihood of being bitten. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home,” the agency stated. “Among adults, men are more likely than women to be bitten by a dog.”