NEW ORLEANS — Neighbors in Pontchartrain Park are shocked and saddened by the death of a little boy.
According to New Orleans police, the 13-month-old died after he was attacked and severely injured by a family dog.
“Wow, man, I got six myself so I can only imagine,” neighbor Ted Brisco said. “It’s heartbreaking to hear that.”
It happened Monday evening around 6:45 p.m. inside a home on the 5500 block of Seminary Place.
“I’m devastated,” neighbor Rhonda Peychaud said. “It’s terrible. I don’t see how something like that can happen, but I guess it happens.”
The child was taken to a hospital where he later died.
“I have a big dog and she’s very mild-mannered,” Peychaud said. “I don’t understand how that can happen because I wouldn’t keep an aggressive dog like that around babies.”
Another neighbor said the animal didn’t appear to be aggressive when she would see the mother and baby walking the dog.
“She usually walks the dog off the leash with the little baby,” the neighbor said. “It was surprising to see that that happened because she’s always walking the dog up and down the block off the leash. It was a friendly dog.”
Louisiana SPCA personnel entered the backyard to try and subdue the animal.
At that time, police officers on the scene heard one of the workers screaming for help.
Police say an officer shot and killed the dog after it attacked the worker.
Neighbors now plan to rally around the baby’s family.
“We’re all a great community around here,” Brisco said. “Everybody will reach out to them and whatever they need, we’ll be there for them, I’m sure.”
In a prepared statement, Louisiana SPCA CEO Anna Zorilla said, “We are heartbroken that a toddler was killed by a dog attack last night. Our deepest sympathies go out to the grieving family. The Louisiana SPCA places human life and safety first and foremost.”
The LASPCA statement said, “Unfortunately, accidents are never completely preventable, but the Louisiana SPCA urges parents and pet owners to teach both their children and pets the best ways to interact with one another. With proper training techniques and behaviors practiced, a significant portion of bite cases can be avoided.”
The baby’s family declined to be interviewed.