By Rob Malcolm

GRANITE BAY (CBS13) – It was a story that had even seasoned law enforcement officials heartbroken.

“We never want to see this; this it’s a complete tragedy and our heart goes out to family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through,“ said Placer County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Andrew Scott.

Deputies and animal control are searching for answers after a 6-year-old female pit bull fatally mauled a 13-month-old boy. The boy was inside a home on Olive Ranch Road being watched by a relative. Police received the 911 call shortly after 3 p.m.

Few in the Granite Bay neighborhood could find words to talk about the incident.

READ: Police: Pit Bull Dies Protecting Family From Armed Intruder

“It’s scary that it can happen so close to my house,” said Gavin Smith, who lives two houses down from where the toddler was mauled.

Placer County Sheriffs Department deputies responded immediately, but there was little they could do.

“When deputies responded to the scene, the relative that was watching the child was able to get the child away from the dog,” said Scott.

Neighbors, including Smith, joined others trying to figure out what was taking place with deputies and animal control officers gathered in front of the single-story bungalow.

“My mom heard from somebody that there was blood on the lady’s face or on the kid’s face,” said Smith.

Later, they learned the tragic news that the toddler later died at Roseville Medical Center.

The pit bull is now quarantined with Placer County Animal Control. Sheriff’s deputies say their preliminary investigation points to an accident.

“There doesn’t appear to be any neglect; there doesn’t appear to be anything that provoked the dog; it was just a horrific circumstance that occurred,“ said Scott.

ALSO: Pit Bull Bitten In Face While Protecting Owner From Venomous Snake

Smith is the owner of two large pit bulls and says his dogs are timid, and he can’t understand how this happened.

“Usually it’s not really the dog that’s the problem, it’s the people who raise the dog,” he said.

“You go and train a dog to be aggressive, it’s going to be aggressive. If you don’t be aggressive with the dog it’s going to be fine.”

Scott says that while accidents like this are rare, pet owners should do what they can to avoid tragedies like this.

”It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog when they’re around your small children — whether they’re a big dog or small dog, regardless of breed,” said Scott.

Comments (12)
  1. Gini Barrett says:

    Why is anyone shocked? This happens around the world every single day, although not all maulings are fatal. Pit bulls kill about 30-35 people in the US every year. About 1000 more are horrifically disabled. Thousands more are bitten, from just needing medical treatment to being serious but not permanently disabling. Some 40,000 other animals are killed by pits in the US every year. IT IS NOT HOW YOU RAISE THEM. Genetics matter. Their genetic heritage is to kill. More than half of the fatal events are loved family pets who had never shown aggression before. Being surprised that pits kill is like being stunned that sheep dogs herd, or that labs chase balls.

  2. Bryan Porter says:

    This article is an example of why the carnage continues. It is laced with pro-pit story links as an apparent apology to pit fans for having to report that a pit killed another child. Authorities are “searching for answers”? ANSWER: It’s a pit bull. It is genetically predisposed to attack/kill and no matter how sweet it appears to be, IF that genetic switch flips, people die or go to the hospital. You might be able to save a life or two by doing a little real research instead of just quoting people who repeat the same old tired and provably false talking point that it’s “how they are raised/trained”.

  3. Sandra Loubet says:

    Insinuating the parents are to blame for the dog attack is heartless, misinformed and for the news team to include this baseless information is bad reporting. They’ve been raised to kill for centuries, they’re a blood sport breed but Jane Berkey and her billion dollar lobby supporting this breed have been fooling the public into believing their genetics have nothing to do with it. Do people actually believe victim blaming is the way to go with this? That these dogs are ‘NANNY dogs’ ???

    1. Frostee DaKnowman says:

      Hey just look to the bright side. It didn’t happen to my kid. DOH!

  4. Terry Huffman says:

    “Scott says that while accidents like this are rare, pet owners should do what they can to avoid tragedies like this.
    ”It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog when they’re around your small children — whether they’re a big dog or small dog, regardless of breed,” said Scott.” It’s best if you don’t own dogs of the fighting bred lineage at all and you’ll avoid almost of the carnage and death we read about daily now, because the foolish and naïve have given them a new venue that allows these dogs to display their particular set of skills. Ban Pit Bulls and their variants and about 3/4 of dog attacks involving catastrophic injuries and death will cease.

  5. Robyn says:

    Oh wow! Not a pit bull again? This is surprising. Not. Happens every damn day. Children and elderly killed, maulings, horrific disfigurement, pets murdered and ripped into pieces. How can you pit bull people be so asleep on this? And this news story? Nope. It’s sometimes the owner’s fault, usually not. It’s the damn dog that been bred to do this. Loving it will not breed out its bloodsport genetics.

  6. Bink says:

    You can train a beagle any old way in the world, and it won’t kill your toddler. You can treat a pit bull like a king, and it will. It’s the breed. And no, this wasn’t an “accident”. Dogs don’t accidentally maul anyone or anything to death–they do it on purpose. Please tell me they’re having that dog euthanized.

  7. Bob Cronk says:

    Time for all the know it alls to make their stupid comments. I bet none have owned a dog or even volunteered at a shelter.

  8. LightsOn says:

    Nobody knowledgeable about dog breeds is surprised. Pit Bulls have been bred to kill. Literally, they were purposely selected for their blood sport ability. All dog breeds have been bred for their unique purpose. Pits were NEVER meant to be pets. The irresponsible people who breed these types of dogs fill the shelters by abandoning them. The shelters sell them to the public without any education or training on how to manage an aggressive breed. The pit bull lobby lies to the public about the dangers of owning an aggressive domestic carnivore. In 2019 with the internet, people are still ignorant. People and pets are mauled every day by pits . It will keep happening until they are banned

  9. Jessica Loh says:

    Suggest Lt. Andrew Scott check these Facebook pages out before he makes another statement: National Pit Bull Victim Awareness and Our Pets Were Attacked by Pit Bulls.

  10. johnvanmunster says:


    It is blatantly biased reporting like this that so greatly contributes to the pit bull epidemic. With interlaced pro-pit story links, in a futile attempt to negate the underlying truth, you are directly contributing to the horrific, senseless death or injury of countless innocent children. Shame on you!

    Calling it an “accident” is beyond belief. Did they accidentally acquire a known vicious breed? Did the mutant accidentally maul the poor child? Using quotes like “it’s the people who raise the dog” is to imply that pit bulls are trained to be aggressive and is an insult to the grieving family.

    And how many neighbors did you have to interview before you found one that agrees with your stance? “[neighbor] Smith is the owner of two large pit bulls and says his dogs are timid, and he can’t understand how this happened”. Seriously? Any half-wit understands though…


  11. Al says:

    Ban those stupid pit bulls!!!! Every day another one kills someone!!!! Enough already!!!!!!!!! Charge all of those pit nutters with a crime against humanity!!! They can’t seem to understand that yeah, other breeds bite, but other breeds do NOT maim and kill like the pit bulls on an every day basis!

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