We are extremely protective of our pets and our children. For many people, pets are children.
But when you have both, and your beloved pet turns on your precious child, what do you do? One father was faced with that exact scenario.
The father, in Falmouth, Massachusetts, who has remained unnamed, was enjoying his Sunday morning when his world fell apart.
At around 9 a.m. on Sunday, he heard his 1-year-old daughter started screaming from the kitchen. She had been playing with the family dog.
Some might suggest parental negligence, but this dog had never shown any signs of turning before. By all reports, it was friendly toward both people and other dogs.
But when he ran to the kitchen, the sight that greeted him was absolutely terrifying. The family’s pit bull was attacking the girl.
The dad instantly tried to separate the two, but the dog refused to let go of the child’s face.
He ran to the next room to retrieve his pistol, but quickly realized it wasn’t loaded and would do no good.
So he got the next best thing he could think of that was nearby: a kitchen knife. He didn’t hesitate to do what needed to be done.
After stabbing the dog multiple times, it finally released the baby girl and the father called for emergency assistance.
The girl was tended to at home, transported to Falmouth Hospital, and then airlifted to Boston Children’s Hospital. At first her wounds looked fatal, but she has continued to pull through.
The girl’s great-uncle, who lives across the street from them, was astounded to hear what had occurred.
“She’s a cute little bunny,” Ron Goulart said. “Maybe a year old now. She’s very good. The dogs always got along with her, so I don’t know what happened.”
The community has poured out support for the family. Chairwoman of Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen, Susan Moran, praised the father’s quick action: “We recognize the heroic efforts by the dad to do the best he could to minimize the injuries to his child.”
Moran also stated that she does not believe pit bulls to be more dangerous than any other breed of dog.
The police report echoed that the child “was playing in the kitchen with the father nearby,” and that “The family pit-bull terrier attacked the child and bit her in the face causing major trauma.” The dog passed away.
A neighbor was shocked, too, not having seen any concerning behavior from the dog before. “Never seen the dog aggressive in any such way,” she said.
“On a couple occasions my dog got loose and ran over to his dog and it never showed any aggression. It seemed like a normal pet dog.”
Police later confirmed that the attack had been unprovoked and that the dog had no history of aggression.
It’s a sad reality that dogs are unpredictable and instances like these, while (thankfully) rare, are not unheard of. But fortunately this father had his wits about him and was able to act quickly in the best interest of his child.
The girl has gone through surgeries and transfusions, but it looks like she will pull through. All the best to this family as they go through this difficult time.
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