Toddler dies in mother's arms waiting for an ambulance after being mauled by family dog
Denali Gonzalez was seen playing with the dog after she and her family got back home from a shopping trip before he was killed by the family dog
A young girl from Alvin, Texas has died after she was viciously mauled to death by the family dog. The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office revealed in a press release that the two-year-old girl was mauled by the family dog outside her home on October 12. The child had been playing with the dog after she and her family had gone back home after a shopping trip just a little before 5 pm. When a member of the family went outside to check on the toddler, they discovered that the dog had attacked the girl.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the first responders from the sheriff's office reached the scene along with Alvin Animal Control at around 5 pm and found that the child was unresponsive. According to the Sun and Advertiser, the family dog was euthanized on the scene and was identified as a mixed-breed dog in the press release. The Chronicle reported that the dog's jaws locked around the toddler's throat and upper torso.
The paramedics made several attempts to revive the child but she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Lt. Varon Snelgrove told the Chronicle that the dog did not have a known history of being violent or aggressive. He told the paper: "There’s nothing the family could have done. It’s just a horrific, horrific incident."
The Sun and Advertiser, as well as a GoFundMe page, identified the toddler as Denali Gonzalez. The fundraising page was set up to help the family cover costs for the funeral. The page says: "She passed away in her mother’s arms waiting for an ambulance. Denali was always smiling and making people happy. She’s in a better place now, she’s watching over her family."
Natalie Freshour, the founder of Hot Mess Pooches Rescue and a professional dog trainer in the area, told KTRK-TV: "Whenever I'm researching dog bite fatalities, it's along the lines of the dog not being properly socialized. They're not around people, they're kept outside, kept on chains. They're not properly trained, and they're not spayed or neutered. Those are the dogs that cause the most dog bite cases."
Freshour believes that families think that dogs they have raised from when they are puppies are safe to be around but it's actually the opposite. She added: "Children should never be left alone with a dog. If you're going to take a shower, put the dog up. Don't let it stay with the child."
She continued: "Children should be taught not to fall on top of the dog, not to pull its ears, and, if the dog wants to get away from the child, let it go. If the dog's eyes get big and its ears go back, you know they don't want to be messed with. It's our responsibility to make sure we don't set the dog, or the children, up for failure, or, in this case, something much worse."