Toddler mauled by family dog while playing with mother on back porch dies from her injuries

Triniti Harrell was playing with her mom on the back porch of their home when the family dog brutally attacked her

                            Toddler mauled by family dog while playing with mother on back porch dies from her injuries

A one-year-old North Carolina girl who had previously been hospitalized after being viciously mauled by her family's pit bull-mix has died, the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office confirmed. The attack occurred on October 22 at a home located on N.C. Highway 43, with Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office deputies receiving a desperate call concerning a dog attacking a child.

Sheriff Clee Atkinson said that Miranda Harrell and her daughter Triniti were playing on the back porch of their home when the family's six-year-old dog attacked. WITN reported that Harrell tried to stop the dog but failed. When deputies first arrived at the scene, they saw the dog "slinging the child around in its mouth" like a baby doll.

A 911 call made by Harrell revealed the horror that the mother went through as she tried to save her daughter. "Hurry, she's dying! Please hurry," she can be heard saying as the dispatcher tries to instruct her to grab the dog and get it off the toddler. 

The mother then grabbed a weapon and hit it on the head, but to no avail. When she failed to pry open the pit bull's jaws, the 911 operator told her to grab a knife from the kitchen, grab the dog by its ear, and cut along the bottom of the neck, which would force it to release his jaw muscles and let the child go.

However, it would be two shots from Detective Whitaker, who was one of the first to arrive at the scene, that would kill the dog and release Triniti from his grip. "He's definitely a hero, because in law enforcement, sometimes that 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds is life or death," said Atkinson. "He saw at that point, and it was a tough shot. We've discussed this and some officers wouldn't have been able to make this shot."

The sheriff's dept released a statement addressing the incident that read, "We ask that everyone keep the little girl and her family in their thoughts and prayers. We hope for a full recovery for the little girl."

At that point, the toddler was alive but clinging to life and was flown to Vidant Medical Center and then onto UNC Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill. Triniti was thought to have been in stable condition, but the wounds proved to be fatal. She would pass away on October 29.

"We ask for continued prayers for her family and the first responders who were involved," the sheriff's office said in its latest release.

The home has a "beware of dog" sign posted and the sheriff says they're checking to see if they've been called to the residence previously for any aggressive dog calls. No charges are expected to be filed in the incident. Triniti's funeral services will be conducted on November 1 at 2 pm at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Road Parkway, Wilson.