A grandmother in Georgia has been charged with murder after her toddler grandson was mauled to death by her two pit bulls while she babysat him.
Sandra Bowers Adams, 70, was taken into custody by Hartwell police officers after the tragic death of her 20-month-old grandson who was ‘brutally mauled’ by the dogs in the backyard of her home Tuesday, police said.
The grandmother was babysitting the boy at the time of the tragedy.
The two pit bull mixes that attacked a Springfield mom and her two toddlers last month have been euthanized.
The dogs had been placed under a 10-day quarantine with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Kathryn Wall, spokesperson for the health department, said the dogs’ owner signed them over last week to be put down.
The dogs, which belonged to a neighbor, attacked 4-year-old Evy Atwell and 2-year-old Lane on July 17 while the children were playing in their backyard in north Springfield.
Their mother, Christin Atwell, was watching her children from the kitchen window and heard the dogs barking. Christin Atwell ran out the backdoor to save her kids and was also bitten.
Travis Atwell, who was inside the house at the time of the attack, heard the commotion and came outside. He was able to kick the dogs away and end the attack.
“We were glad to hear that they were put down,” Travis Atwell said. “I can’t imagine having to tell the kids the dogs are back.”
Travis Atwell said the children and his wife are still sore from the dog bites but are on the mend — physically. The emotional toll is what worries him most.
“(The children) are just very afraid. Just yesterday I told Evy, ‘It’s nice out and I want you to go and play,'” Travis Atwell said. “She was afraid the dogs will come. She was sobbing uncontrollably, afraid to go in the backyard.”
TANEY COUNTY, Mo. – Amanda Prichard can barely lift her wounded arms. In fact, nearly her entire body is battered, with her head taking the brunt of a vicious attack.
On Friday, July 21, Amanda was walking down a road in Taney County, like she had done countless times, to see if her best friend was home. Although her buddy wasn’t there, the family’s two dogs were, but they weren’t on their chains.
Before Amanda could reach the yard, the dogs bolted for her.
“As they were running at me, I was really panicked, and as they were attacking, I thought ‘Oh great. Hopefully, this isn’t the end,’ ” Amanda said, about a week after the attack.
The 11-year-old girl fought for her life.
“No matter what I tried,” she said. “I tried to push. I was trying to jab their eyes–go for the weaker parts. Kind of like hit them, kick them, but they just don’t let go.”
She even played dead; it didn’t work. “I was, kind of like, beginning to feel hopeless because no one was hearing me.”
A neighbor finally did hear Amanda’s screams and rushed to her rescue. Even though weakness had settled in, Amanda recalled what was going through her mind at the time; she said, “I thought ‘Oh, thank you. Please help me.’ ”
Amanda was rushed to a Springfield hospital for emergency surgery while her mom was anxiously waiting. “I could lose my daughter, and that’s a scary thought,” Kristie Bates recollected.
After five hours, the surgeon had stitched, stapled or sutured 48 different wounds. The worst was Amanda’s skull. It didn’t fracture, but the doctor told Bates it was close. “You could see the teeth indention in her skull from how hard they bit her,” explained Bates.
After five days in the hospital, Amanda finally made it home, and she tries not to relive the nightmare, but it’s a challenge. “They were big dogs,” she said. “They were pit bulls.”
The Taney County Health Department confirmed the dogs, which Animal Control officers euthanized with the owner’s consent, were pit bulls.
DURBAN – “I love you so much. You’ll always be my hero.”
These were the last words Kayla Madden spoke to her sister before she succumbed to injuries from a dog attack inside her Hillcrest home on Saturday.
Gemma, 9, died after being attacked by a pit bull at Kayla’s home just hours before she was due to celebrate her 10th birthday.
The pit bull, named Nero, was euthanised by the SPCA.
Gemma, a grade 4 pupil at a school in Kloof, was dropped off at Kayla`s home in Hillcrest. Their parents went out for the evening together with Kayla’s boyfriend Thomas van der Spuy.
Kayla, 21, told the Daily News Gemma had been playing with the dog since she arrived at 3pm.
Kayla was baking muffins in the kitchen for Gemma’s birthday. The child walked into the next room and screamed about a minute later.
“I am too devastated to explain the last moments of what happened. It’s all a blur and traumatising. The dog has been living with us for a while. I am not sure what triggered the dog to attack her. We had so much planned for her. We shared to many memories together,” Kayla said before she broke down in tears and handed the phone to van der Spuy.
“We are upset at what has been posted on social media. People don’t know the facts. They have crushed my fiancee emotionally by blaming her for the incident. I had Nero since he was a pup. He was five years old and loved kids. He lived inside the house with us. He was part of the family. I had left him to protect the girls. No one knows what set him off. They had been playing together all afternoon,” van der Spuy said.
He broke down when he told the Daily News that Nero had to be euthanised at the Kloof and Highway SPCA on Monday. Van der Spuy said he could not look at the dog again and was told he could not trust it.
“We are not careless people. No one could have predicted what happened. It could have been any breed of dog. Nero was never vicious. We do not blame Nero or anyone for this; animals can be unpredictable. And it was a terrible, tragic accident,” he said.
The pit bull had grabbed Gemma and locked its jaw around her neck. Kayla tried getting Nero off and her screams for help alerted neighbours who rushed over.
Nero then apparently left the house and sat in the back yard. Van der Spuy said the pictures of a pit bull, white in colour, with blood around its mouth, that had been accompanying social media posts was not of Nero.
Gemma died at the scene. The family was making funeral arrangements for Friday.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket was opened at Hillcrest police station.