Jordan Gribble / The Houma Courier
HOUMA, La. — Tests for steroids performed on the second dog present during an attack by another pit bull that killed a 4-year-old girl in March came back negative, Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis said Thursday.
Tests were performed on 6-month-old female Khloe, who has been in police custody since Niko, a 2-year-old 130-pound male, attacked and killed Mia DeRouen on March 25.
The attack occurred inside the Houma apartment Mia shared with her mother, Megan Touchet, and her mother’s boyfriend, Kerry Dominique.
The tests were performed on Khloe after allegations that the pit bull she shared a home with may have been injected with steroids, which could have accounted for his unusual size and weight, Duplantis said.
Animal control personnel were unable to conduct tests on Niko after he was killed by responding officers following the attack, officials said.
Experts say that though Niko’s size is unusually large for a pit bull, the breed that police are labeling him as, that they have never encountered a dog that has been injected with steroids to increase its size.
“I’ve never met a dog whose size was exaggerated by steroids, so I tend to doubt the theory of them being used to increase this dog’s size,” said Donna Reynolds, director of BadRap.org, a pit bull advocacy group based in Oakland, Calif.
If the dog wasn’t injected with steroids, its genetics may be the cause for its large and muscular build, Reynolds said.
“I’ve never met a 130-pound American pit bull terrier and would have to say that this dog was very likely of mixed-breed genetics. Male pit bulls don’t tend to weigh more than 60-pounds,” she said.
The dog attacked Mia while she and her mother watched TV at their Houma Highlands apartment, at 461 S. Hollywood Road. It took 12 police bullets to kill Niko following the attack.
Khloe is being kept at the Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter until the investigation concludes, police said. She did not attack anyone during the incident.