Garner community in ‘total shock’ after 7-year-old dies from dog attack; mom remains in hospital

Wake County News

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN)– James Dixon and his family have called Garner home for about 15 years. 

So naturally, when he heard about a dog attack on his neighbors, he was blown away. 

“Total shock,” Dixon said. “This is a family friendly neighborhood.  People walk all the time.  My kids caught the bus right here at this corner.  So, it really could’ve happened to anyone.”

At that corner on Roan Drive, is near where Garner police said a 7-year-old girl and her mother were attacked by dogs described as pit bull that they were looking after on Tuesday evening. 

Police said the two were neighbors who were helping to care for the two pit bulls while the owners were out of town. The attack happened in the backyard, according to police. 

Investigators also said the 7-year-old died and the mother is in the hospital.  The dogs were seized Wake County Animal Control and taken to the Wake County Animal Shelter 

“Most attacks to children occur in everyday activities with dogs they know,” said Dr. Jennifer Federico. 

Federico is the Wake County Animal Services Director.  She said 70 percent of deadly dog attacks are to children. 

“Since so many of them are with dogs we know.  It’s making sure we don’t let our guards down.  It can’t be well, that breed of dog is bad but this one is fine.  Well, guess what?  They all have teeth.  They can all bite,” she explained. 

Federico said she teaches courses with young kids on how to pet and read dog behavior. 

However, in Tuesday’s attack police say they do not know why the dogs attacked. 

“We are here for support.  We are praying for you,” Dixon said in disbelief. 

Garner police have not released the mother’s name.  They told CBS17 Wednesday the incident is still under investigation. 

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