GRPD: 3-week-old girl killed in dog attack

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are investigating a dog attack that killed a 3-week-old girl.

It happened around 6 p.m. Thursday at a home in the 1100 block of Kalamazoo Avenue SE.

Sgt. Terry Dixon with the Grand Rapids Police Department said the baby was left alone in a glider, similar to a bouncer, while several adults were on the porch. One of the adults went to check on the infant after approximately five minutes and noticed she had been bitten, Dixon said.

A pit bull was near the child with blood around its mouth, detectives said.

Police say they were notified about the situation at 2 a.m. Friday by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where the baby had been taken. The infant underwent emergency surgery but died Friday morning, officers say.

An autopsy on the baby girl showed her injuries were consistent with a dog bite.

“This is a very, very tragic situation,” said Dixon.

“This is a horrible tragedy and serves as a critical reminder to never leave a child unattended around a dog or dogs or cats. Always keep a watchful eye on vulnerable youth, and that’s what makes this difficult to report on,” he later added during a Friday afternoon news conference.

Two other dogs were also in the house but not nearby, according to Dixon. He said the three dogs were not confined to an area in the house.

The dogs were taken to Kent County Animal Shelter where they are under quarantine. All three are pit bulls, GRPD confirmed.

“I don’t think you, just the breed of a pit bull by itself is not enough to condemn it. Any dog can bite,” Dixon said.

At least one other child lives at the home, Dixon said. Child Protective Services has been notified of the situation and is investigating, he said.

GRPD said no one has been charged in the case, but officers will sit down with the prosecutor’s office to determine if charges are warranted.

Officers are not releasing names of the infant or those involved in the case at this time.

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