Horrific and sad news for a new mother in Central California: according to police, two family dogs killed her 3-day-old baby girl yesterday.
The Fresno Bee reports that the mother, 33, left the infant alone on a couch for just a few seconds while using the bathroom. Fresno Police Sgt. Dan Macias revealed that the new mother left a door to the residence open because it was so hot outside. She believed her 30-year-old brother’s two dogs were tied up in the backyard.
Presumably, the dogs were not tied up, and they must have entered the home, because when she returned, she discovered a horrific scene. The two male dogs, believed to be a mix of shar-pei and pit bull, apparently mauled the baby who later died at Community Regional Medical Center.
The unnamed woman told police that one of the dogs is aggressive. The woman’s brother, who was at the home when the attack occurred, surrendered the dogs to the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They will be euthanized.
While this appears to be an accident, Macias made it clear that charges have not been ruled out. The sad situation will, of course, lead to more race-baiting discussion about breed specific legislation banning pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
When people talk about pit bulls, they often reveal their opinions on class and race issues while using the dogs as proxies, according to author Brownwen Dickey. She argues in her new book, Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon, which traces the history of pit bulls in America from being featured on war-era propaganda posters to being outright banned in some cities, that the recent history of the dog is partly a story about racism and cultural stereotypes.
For many years, activists in cities throughout the US and Canada have fought have the dogs labeled wild, vicious and un-trainable. According to Banpitbulls.org, “27 people in the US were killed by pit bulls in 2014 and 27 people killed in 2015” and “The majority of pit bull attacks are unprovoked.”
Recently, Jocelyn Winfrey, 53, died after being mauled at the home of Yale psychiatry intern Hamilton Hicks, 37, just moments after arriving at the home with Hicks in his car. Winfrey spent a week in a medically induced coma following the attack. Yesterday, she died at Yale-New Haven Hospital.