The apparent mauling of a 4-year-old Miami boy by a group of dogs last August has horrified residents of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Boy Found in Backyard
Javon Dade Jr. was reported missing at 10 a.m. on the morning of August 13, 2014 after his father, Javon Dade, Sr. went to look for him and did not find him in his bedroom. After the police arrived and searched the house, they found the boy lying in the back yard near a fence in the middle of some overgrown grass. He was deceased and had suffered “severe head trauma and neck trauma consistent with a dog mauling,” according to the Miami-Dade county police report.
A total of six dogs, three adults and three puppies, were removed from the property. One of the six dogs was a pit bull and the other five were a terrier-boxer mixed breed. It is unknown which dog or dogs attacked the child. The pit bull was later euthanized at Animal Services due to aggressive behavior.
There Were Early Warnings of Aggression
Dade Sr.’s landlord, Kenneth Narbin, told news outlets that he had given Dade Sr. and Alessandra Carrasco, who lived with Dade, seven days to remove the pit bulls from the home. Pit bulls are not allowed in Miami-Dade County, but they are permitted in Broward County to the north.
An article in the Miami Herald reported that an unidentified person or persons had called the Florida Department of Children and Families child abuse hotline three years before, concerned about the “danger” that “untrained dogs” at the home posed to children living there. The caller expressed additional concern about the cleanliness of the home, and that the dogs went to the bathroom where the children played. The DCF sent investigators to the home twice, but these investigators did not know that pit bulls were banned in that county and they did not pursue the case.
After the tragedy, neighbors reported to news organizations that the area has long had a problem with dangerous dogs. Some are even scared to let their children wait for the bus.
Both Father and Girlfriend Charged with Neglect, Manslaughter
According to prosecutors, Carrasco was the owner of the pit bull and the person who “was in charge of the child” when the mauling took place. She has been charged with child neglect and manslaughter. Dade, Sr. was initially charged with child neglect. In September, manslaughter was added to his charges as well.
Veterinarian Urges Caution with Children Around Dogs
Miami veterinarian Dr. Ian Kupkee cautioned that while pit bulls are known as an aggressive breed, other breeds are just as capable of showing aggression. Parents of children should be on the lookout for any warning signs that might indicate a dog is aggressive.
If you or a family member has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Pennsylvania, call Jeffrey Harlan Penneys for an assessment of your case. You can reach him by calling 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell), or by filling out the easy online form.