Sheriff says Georgia toddler killed by 7 dogs in yard as mother, other adults were inside house

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ELLABELL, Ga. — A toddler who slipped outside through a doggy door was mauled to death by her family’s seven dogs in the backyard while the attack went unnoticed by the child’s mother and other relatives inside their home, a southeast Georgia sheriff said Thursday.



Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said the child’s grandmother told investigators she was lying in bed when she heard the pit bulls and pit bull mixes barking, and she looked outside her window to see them dragging the girl. Smith said she began yelling, “They’re killing Monica!”

It was too late. Monica Renee Laminack, who would have turned 2 on June 1, was dead by the time an ambulance arrived Wednesday. Animal control officers used drugs to euthanize the dogs at the home on a rural road in tiny Ellabell, about 30 miles west of Savannah. Deputies found the girl’s shoes, diaper and shredded clothing scattered across the fenced-in yard, Smith said.

“They had dragged the child all over the yard. ... They tore her clothes all up,” Smith said.

The toddler lived in a modest, two-story house tucked away from the main road. The sheriff said four generations of the same family shared the home, including the child’s 18-year-old mother, grandparents and two uncles who are still young boys.

The girl’s grandmother, Michelle McIntyre, sat weeping on the tailgate of a pickup outside the home Thursday. Summer Laminack, the child’s mother, sat next to her staring silently at the ground.

“She’s in shock,” Barbara Brauda, a friend who was visiting the family, told The Associated Press before a man approached and asked a reporter to leave the property. “She hasn’t been doing a whole lot of crying because she’s still numb.”

The sheriff said at least three adult relatives were inside the home when the dogs killed the girl outside. No criminal charges had been filed Thursday. Smith said he expects charges will be brought after he’s had a chance to discuss the case with the district attorney and the girl’s family has been given time to hold her funeral.

“I can see child neglect at the very minimum,” Smith said.

Relatives told investigators the dogs that mauled the child were essentially family pets – a mother dog and six offspring from a litter she had about 16 months ago, the sheriff said.

The dogs had their own doggy doors that let them come in and out of the house as they pleased. The family told deputies the dogs had never attacked a person, though one of them might have killed a cat, Smith said. He said relatives insisted the toddler would play with the dogs and even “use them as pillows while watching TV.”

Smith said the dogs looked healthy, and investigators found no signs they were being used as fighting dogs by their owners.

“They said they have never been aggressive to other people,” he said. “Why they got started I have no idea.”

Christy Lamica lives across the street from the home where the girl was killed. She said she’s seen neighbors walking pit bulls on leashes along the street but isn’t sure where the owners live.

“Everybody on this street has dogs, and everybody pretty much keeps to themselves,” said Lamica, who said she doesn’t know the family of the mauled toddler. “Their dogs don’t get out, and we never hear anything from them. I’m home all day, and I’ve never had issues.”

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Just My Opinion
4642
Points
Just My Opinion 03/29/13 - 04:47 am
7
0

Man, I don't see how these

Man, I don't see how these folks can possibly stay in that house...to know that everytime you step out in the backyard, that was the place of this poor child's tortuous death. And here we go again about Pit Bulls. I just don't know what to make of those dogs....many people on both sides of the fence about whether they are extremely vicious or just docile. Regardless, God please bless these people, and I know that sweet child is with You now.

scoobynews
3697
Points
scoobynews 03/29/13 - 05:17 am
7
2

Seven dogs!!!!

My one is too much work for me and they had seven! Doggie door to let them in and out too! Around a small child! Pure crazy! That poor child :(

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 03/29/13 - 07:34 am
0
0

This makes me sad :-(. What

Unpublished

This makes me sad :-(. What an awful situation. I do find it hard to believe that no one heard these dogs going crazy, or this little girls screams. Im not saying they did anything wrong intentionally, because accidents happen, its just hard to believe is all.
I do believe however that pit bulls and babies dont mix. These dogs, for whatever reason, can turn on you in a split second and attack anyone close by. They are not family pets, but a breed of fighting animals with apparent quick tempers, and very strong.
I love dogs, and we have one, and we have a 19 month old baby girl. I doubt my pug would do anything but lick her face and then fall asleep. I'd never ever allow a pit bull near her, and definitely not 7 of them. Pure craziness. Its the parents job to protect their children, and although it was an accident, they failed to do so, so they should be charged accordingly.

seenitB4
72451
Points
seenitB4 03/29/13 - 08:39 am
2
0

What..

No one heard anything!

itsanotherday1
34509
Points
itsanotherday1 03/29/13 - 10:07 am
8
1

Pit Bull Fans

Please defend this. You all continue to argue that these are sweet animals that go bad because they are trained to.

Note that the family said these were pets, friendly to the child, never threatened a human, etc., etc.

I believe it is wired into them to attack and kill when whatever it is that triggers them happens. You read about it time after time after time. This breed of animal is dangerous, period. I wouldn't trust one for 5 seconds around a child or another animal.

dsolvtec
12
Points
dsolvtec 03/29/13 - 11:11 am
5
2

What a tragedy..

First and foremost my heart goes out to this family. This is something that will take a long time to move past. @itsanotherday1 - I own (1) American Pit Bull Terrier which is an Old Family Red Nose. To create a balanced dog no matter what the breed, socialization with people, and other dogs is a must. Exercise is also a must, and will depend on each animals particular energy level. Exercise for my Pit Bull is 30 minutes a day (at least) of flat out running, not walking. As much as I love the breed it does require a certain dedicated owner to make sure it's needs are met to bring balance. Are they pre-wired to attack or kill? I can't say one way or another. Are they magnificent animals that strive to please their owners? Very much so. Do they posses willingness to protect their family with their lives? Undoubtedly yes. The key is balance, and not every owner has the ability to provide this for one reason or another, which should be considered strongly before choosing this breed. Any animal is exactly that - an animal. Each with it's own unique personality, and every human will have a dynamic relationship with one. I have no doubt this family loved their dog's very much. And to speculate on how they were raised/kept is merely that - speculation. What may have occurred with this tragedy is a pack mentality which could happen with any group of dogs. My heart goes out to the family.

allhans
21921
Points
allhans 03/29/13 - 11:13 am
4
3

Thug dogs? "They are sweet,

Thug dogs? "They are sweet, would never hurt anyone"..Yeah, right.

Poor child..no one caring..I guess...
Poor, poor child.

ken8375309
1396
Points
ken8375309 03/29/13 - 11:14 am
4
2

Tragic. Yes, the Pit Bull

Tragic. Yes, the Pit Bull Apologists will be around shortly.. With so many good breeds out there, why anyone would own one of these monsters is beyond me.

Fiat_Lux
13857
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/29/13 - 11:39 am
4
0

@seenitB4, My pooch

barks every time he sets foot out our back door. The dogs next door immediately join the chorus. Unless something sounds different about it, I don't check on them.

To those dogs, this baby was not really different than a cat or a squirrel except for being slower and less able to escape.

Dogs are domesticated wolves. They are predators. I wouldn't trust even my mini dachshund alone with a small child.

ken8375309
1396
Points
ken8375309 03/29/13 - 11:50 am
6
1

Ignorant, hardly. I sat on

Ignorant, hardly. I sat on the jury for a civil case of a horrific mauling by the misunderstood gentle family Pit. I have seen first hand what these monsters are capable of. If you own one and allow it to be around a small child, you should be charged with criminal child endangerment. Owners should be required to carry a minimum of $1,000,000.00 liability insurance..

Darby
19068
Points
Darby 03/29/13 - 06:01 pm
5
0

IMHO - Owning a pit bull is not unlike....

playing with a loaded gun.

Wouldn't play with a gun, loaded or not. Wouldn't own such an animal either.

allhans
21921
Points
allhans 03/29/13 - 07:46 pm
1
0

Somebody should have been

Somebody should have been watching the child even if there had been no dogs. The mother and relatives in the house and not one caring enough to watch the child...Sad, very sad.

Darby
19068
Points
Darby 03/30/13 - 12:15 am
1
0

"Somebody should have....

been watching"
.

You are so right. Like Joni Mitchell sang, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone".

What a terrible tragedy. What a terrible waste.

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