Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Scott TingleyAnimal Attack Files Special Report
from APB News

      3-Year-Old Killed by Pit Bull
Wandered into Yard after Mother Fell Asleep

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

TYLER, Texas (AP) -- A 3-year-old girl was mauled to death by her family's pit bull Tuesday after her mother fell asleep and the child wandered into the back yard, police said.

Investigators said Bevelon Austin apparently fell asleep and never noticed that her daughter, Ahleah, had wandered into the yard where 13 pit bulls were chained.

Mike Lusk, a Smith County Sheriff's Department detective, said a member of the family has already used a gun to kill the dog responsible for the mauling.

A dozen other pit bulls

The family's other 12 pit bulls were taken to a veterinarian's office to be euthanized, per the request of Ahleah's uncle, Marcus Ford, who owned the dogs.

"I don't think anyone there wanted to see dogs there anymore," said Charles Wilson, a local constable who oversees animal control.

Police said it was too early to say if any criminal charges would be filed in the girl's death.

Researchers earlier this month announced Rottweilers had surpassed pit bulls as America's deadliest dog. The large dogs were involved in 33 fatal attacks on humans between 1991 and 1998, according to a report by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Pit bulls were involved in 21 fatal attacks over the same period.

©Copyright 2000 APB Multimedia Inc.

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