A seven-year-old boy has died after he was mauled by his family’s two new puppies. On Thursday, less than an hour after the attack Malaki Mildward was pronounced dead at Clarinda Regional Medical Center. The two dogs responsible for the child’s demise were only six-months-old. Reportedly, the canines stood calmly by as paramedics worked unsuccessfully to save the boy.
Malaki was found unconscious by a relative who called 911 immediately. Police arrived at the College Springs, Iowa home around 5:00 p.m., just minutes after the call was made. The little boy was not breathing. Paramedics were on the scene shortly after and attempted to resuscitate the child but were not successful and rushed him to the hospital.
The seven-year-old boy lived with his mother, older sister and a man named Jeremiah Hicks and his son. The boy’s father, Xavier Mildward, who did not live with the child expressed his grief on Facebook by sharing a picture which was captioned with the words, “I love you so much my baby boy.”
Pit Bull breeds have long been identified as dangerous and vicious dogs. Many owners of this breed disagree heavily. According to the ASPCA, dogs of many breeds can be selectively trained or bred to develop traits of aggression. The responsibility falls on the owner to maintain a commitment to conscientious supervision, proper socialization and humane training. They added:
There will always be dogs of various breeds that are simply too dangerous to live safely in society. However, there are many factors that can be controlled by better educated owners; it is possible to reduce these risks, not just in pit bulls but in dogs of all breeds.
Not everyone agrees with this theory. One person who was angered after learning of the boy’s death said:
Until society comes to recognize just how dangerous this breed is, you will hear of more stories of children and the elderly being mauled to death by them. Just because they were raised by a loving family is no guarantee they won’t turn on you. The cemetery contains the bodies of countless fools who said the same thing about their pit bulls.
Another person named Nick wanted to know why any parent would expose their children to pit bulls. He went on to say statistics do not lie, and added:
All of you pit bull lovers can just shut up. Even if these are a mixed breed it is obvious that these are most likely a type of pit bull. Having this breed of dog in a home with elderly and children is completely ridiculous. How often do you hear of beagles mauling children and killing people?
These statements infuriated several pit bull lovers. They insist the mauling was not the fault of the animals but of the owners and the possible playful mistreatment the pups may have received by the little boy. One woman stated:
No one knows if the boy antagonized the puppies. I’m not saying what happened is right, I’m just saying something set them off and to kill an innocent dog in the same household was stupid. Why not re-house the innocent dog instead? Whoever thought that idea up should never be in charge of our judicial system or the friends and family of human killers would be put on death row too.
Another person who identified himself as Pitbull Lover added:
I am so sick of everyone saying how ALL pit bulls are aggressive breeds. I had one as a child that never harmed me or bit me. As children often do, there were times when I was over eager to play with him, but he was patient. As a puppy he was never aggressive. I think a dog’s behavior is dependent on a number of factors that boil down to environment, treatment, and discipline. THAT BEING SAID, this is a tragic story and I am truly saddened for the family.
Lyle Palmer, Page County Sheriff, said the dogs which killed the child were mixed-breeds with a bulldog heritage, but not pit bulls. He said Malaki played outside often with the pups and had not experienced any previous problems. Although they showed no aggressiveness after the attack, the two canines were taken to a local pound and euthanized. The family had another dog that did not participate in the mauling but was also put to sleep.
Palmer said the dogs were not pit bulls, however, just six months ago Amber Braymen, the child’s mother, posted a photo on Facebook with a caption stating she had Pitbull English Bulldog pups who had their shots and were and ready to go. For details and pictures of the dogs she asked people to send her a message. While it appears to be some confusion on the true breed of the dogs, a seven-year-old child is dead as a result of these pets. No charges or arrests have been made in this tragic turn of events.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)