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Home / Cardiff and it's Bay / Home and School / Pit bull put down after attacking 1-year-old in Kenly

Pit bull put down after attacking 1-year-old in Kenly

KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) – A 1-year-old girl remains in critical condition after being attacked by a family dog in Kenly Tuesday night, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Old Pebble Lane.

The sheriff’s office said the family dog, a pit bull, was kept outside. When someone went out to feed the animal, it darted in and went after the child.

The girl remains in critical condition at WakeMed.

The dog was shot by responding deputies before Animal Control arrived. The dog was later put down by an animal control officer Tuesday night.

Ernie Wilkinson, director of Johnston County Animal Services arrived on scene shortly after deputies.

“This wasn’t a bite this was an attack,” Wilkinson said.

It is not common for law enforcement to shoot an animal, according to Wilkinson.

“Law enforcement never discharges its weapon unless it’s matter of life or death or a dire emergency. And I’m sure given the circumstances it was something like that,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said deputies have not been called to the house before and as far as they know, the dog was not a “trouble animal.”

The incident comes a few weeks after a toddler was mauled by a five-year-old pit bull-mastiff mix.

Fearna Tyndall, a board member of the group “The Positive Pit Bull,” advocates on behalf of pit bulls.

“Pit bulls are inherently good dogs. They’re not naturally aggressive, and we don’t know the whole story,” she said. “I think that people who leave their dogs outside all the time chained up, they do a great disservice for people who own big dogs because those dogs do get cranky, and they do sometimes get mean.”

Tyndall rescued her pit bull, Stitch, almost eight years ago. He serves as a therapy dog, working with kids in schools.

“One of the things that I’m really careful about with my dog is making sure that he’s safe wherever he goes, and he’s not put in a position where his behavior is going to be bad,” she said.

There have been efforts in the past to ban pit bulls and other breeds of dogs in some communities in North Carolina. The ASPCA has come out against such proposals, saying there’s no evidence they’re effective at improving public safety.

Instead, the agency says it’s important to recognize the problem of dangerous dogs and hold individual owners accountable for their dogs’ actions.

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