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4-year old girl killed by babysitter's pit bull

When we write about dog bite cases in this Michigan Personal Injury blog, they typically involve minor to serious injuries. The truth is, however, that dog bites can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death--especially if the victim is a child. In 2011, 31 fatal dog attacks took place in the country, according to a news report. And, this week, a young girl died in Iowa after she sustained critical injuries when mauled by her babysitter's dog.

According to a news report, the 4-year-old girl was attacked Monday afternoon by an American Staffordshire terrier, also known as a pit bull, at her babysitter's house. She was flown by an air ambulance to a hospital but she passed away Tuesday.

The 24-year-old babysitter, who was looking after the young girl and her brother when the dog attack took place, has been arrested and she is facing a felony child endangerment charge as well as a charge for neglect or abandonment of a dependent person.

It has not been reported exactly how the attack took place.

It is also not clear whether the police have had any complaints about this animal or its owners in the past. The dog is reportedly being quarantined.

Although pit bulls only make up about 5 percent of the dog population in the U.S., they are responsible for more than 70 percent of fatal dog attacks, according to dogbites.org.

Pit bulls are dangerous dogs, but dog bite and dog attack cases are rarely about the dogs themselves. Rather, they are about their owners who may have failed to take the necessary steps to keep others safe around their pets. Pet owners are responsible--not only morally but also legally--to ensure anyone who comes into contact with their dog is going to be safe. When they fail to do so, the results can be tragic.

Source: Des Moines Register, "Prairie City girl dies from dog bite injuries, baby sitter charged," Jens Manuel Krogstad and Sharyn Jackson, April 23, 2013

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