Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dog Drags Newborn From Family Home

A 4-year-old mixed breed called a Native American Indian Dog is under quarantine by animal control authorities in central Kentucky. The breed is said to have wolves in its direct ancestry. A newborn baby boy was hospitalized in critical condition after being taken from his crib and carried outside his home by the family pet, authorities said Tuesday.

A family in Kentucky is dealing with a tragedy as their newborn baby lies in the hospital in critical care, and their pet dog is in the possession of animal control. The family’s dog, a Native American Indian Dog, a breed with wolves in their direct ancestry, stole the baby from its crib, and took the baby into the family’s heavily wooded backyard. The father of the baby was frantically calling 911 when he spotted the dog with his bleeding infant child in its mouth (news reports conflict - some say father spotted dog with infant, others say father went outside to look for dog and infant).

The infant, Alexander James Smith, was only four days old at the time of the attack, and was immediately rushed to the emergency room at University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, KY. The family had been preparing for a baby shower, when the mother placed baby Alexander James in the crib for a nap, and returned a few minutes later to find the baby and the family dog both missing, and the door ajar. The baby was listed in critical condition today, with two collapsed lungs, a skull fracture, broken ribs and various cuts and bruises, an AP article by Jeffrey McMurray explains.

Doctors are now optimistic the infant will survive, although the day of the attack they (along with a pastor) braced the family for the worst, after having to use resuscitation paddles to get a heartbeat back on the infant.

Like many dogs with wolves in their ancestry, Dakota, the family dog in question, was known for taking items and hiding them in the woods behind the house. He had a history of taking everything from the families dishes to wallets and hiding them in the woods. Michael Smith, the father of the infant, immediately headed outside to look for the dog and baby, but it took about 10 minutes of searching the heavily wooded 2 acre backyard before he found Dakota, with the infant in his mouth.

According to McMurray’s article, no charges have been filed, but the case remains under investigation.

Michael Smith says the dog was not trying to viciously attack the newborn baby, but instead was treating it as a bitch would treat her litter of puppies. He explained, "It wasn't a vicious dog attack," Smith said. "She had A.J. for 10 minutes on her own, and if you look at A.J.'s belly, there's about 100 little marks. All the dog had to do was one bite and A.J. wouldn't be here."

Dakota is a 4-year old dog, and one of three dogs the family has had since puppies. Michael Smith says Dakota and the other dogs have never shown any sign of aggression, even when playing with Smith’s two other children from a previous marriage. The fate of Dakota, who remains in custody of local animal control, will most likely be euthanasia.

I expect to see this story remain in headlines, as little A.J. hopefully makes a strong recovery. Many states already have in place laws restricting the owning of wolves and wolf hybrids, though it can be difficult to determine whether or not a dog has wolves in its ancestry. Almost all dogs are believed to be descendants of wolves (the Chihuahua is thought to possibly be an exception to this rule), and in recent years DNA profiles of wolves have determined they are strikingly similar genetically speaking to dogs. This has come up in court cases where ownership of wolves and wolf hybrids is restricted and the dog’s ancestry is called into question. After the brutal pet Chimpanzee attack, a pet boa constrictor that killed a child, and now a dog with wolves as ancestors kidnapping and critically injuring a newborn all making headlines, I expect to see debate in the media about the ownership of wild animals and exotic pets.

I have always believed that all dogs bite – they might not bite humans, but they bite their food everyday, and they are certainly capable of biting humans. I view even my sweet Milly with this same belief, and always keep in mind a saying my mom told me growing up, “Animals will make a liar of you.” When someone asks to pet Milly, I always explain she has no history of aggression, and will most likely lick the person, but she is an animal with large teeth, and has the potential to bite. The idea that animals have the potential to be unpredictable is an important one to always keep in the back of your mind. If you make everyday, simple precautions based on the potential unpredictability of animals, you will find many potential risks will automatically be eliminated by these precautions.

In this instance, and until more facts are revealed, it seems this was simply a tragic accident, that no one could have predicted, and I pray for all those involved.

Do not forget there is still time to enter the second PUPCAKE GIVEAWAY!!! The drawing will take place on July 24th using a random number generator!! Good Luck!! :)


  1. oh my God.. wow.. Poor baby, family and dog.. What a horrible thing to have happen. Welcome a baby into the home and lose a member of the family at the same time (the dog) I'm praying the baby is okay with no health issues because of what has happened but I'm very sad this happened ~ I'm sure the dog is a good dog but... it's so unfortunate what has happened..
    Sad Story...
    hope the best for evfurryone. and if that dog goes ovfur the Rainbow Bridge I hope she's happy there...
    Bell and her Mama

  2. What a sad, sad story. I just can't imagine what this family is going through.