Australian girl, 4, killed by pitbull

2011-08-18 11:00

Melbourne - A 4-year-old girl was mauled to death by a neighbour's pitbull-mastiff cross in a ferocious attack in Melbourne, sparking renewed calls on Thursday for dangerous dog breeds to be banned.

Ayen Chol, whose family is from Sudan, died at the scene after the dog chased another family member into the home where she was watching television with her young cousins on Wednesday evening, police said.

One cousin fought to fend off the vicious animal, suffering bites to her arms and hands during the struggle, during which she tried to beat the dog away with a table, local reports said. Another, aged five, was bitten on the face.

Both were rushed to hospital in a stable condition.

Daniel Atem, a cousin of the victim, said a family member was outside the house when the dog came at her and chased her inside.

Atem said the dog initially attacked the 5-year-old and as Ayen's mother intervened, the dog then attacked Ayen.

Dog to be put down

"It pulled the child from the mum ... the daughter died," Atem said.

"The dog left the child and then the owner of the dog came after that and took the dog out," he added.

The dead girl's father is working in southern Sudan but had been contacted and was returning home, he added.

"He's very, very, very sad. The elders community in southern Sudan will counsel him," said Atem.

The family migrated to Australia in 2004 for a better life.

The dog is expected to be put down.

Tougher laws

The attack reignited calls for a crackdown on the breed, with the Victorian state government saying it would launch a "Dob in (report) a Dog" hotline and allocate funds so cases can be investigated.

"There cannot be a more tragic situation than to see a young child like this, in these circumstances, killed in this horrible, horrible way," the Herald-Sun quoted Victorian premier Ted Baillieu as saying.

"We don't want to see this ever happen again and we will do whatever we possibly can to be rid of these dangerous dogs."

He vowed to toughen laws to impose criminal penalties and possible jail terms on the owners of dangerous dogs that kill.

American Pit Bull Terrier Club of Australia president Colin Muir said the issue was not about a particular breed but the wider problem of responsible ownership of dogs.

"A breed doesn't do these things, an individual dog does, and it's irrelevant what the breed is," he told reporters.

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-08-18 11:16

    It's not the breed!! It's how each indiviudal dog is raised! Sorry that the fmaily has lost a precious little girl but stop victinmising the breed of dog and go after the irrisponsible owners!!

      Dead Skunk - 2011-08-18 12:27

      Is this why the breed has been outlawed in the UK..???

      Jonnie - 2011-08-18 13:07

      The breed does have an influence. Some breeds have better temperaments than others. Somehow I dont see a poodle or chihuahua killing some one, no matter how bad the owner is.

      Lily - 2011-08-18 13:37

      It is the Breed... studies have proven this already. They are inteligent yet very dangerous and cannot be kept has pets. They have very bad temperments and have very jealous behavior. I know owners that loved their pit bullls and raised them well or so they thought, because has soon has grand children came along, they brutally attacked their grand daughter that was 13 years old, now that poor girl has to live with scars for life.

      Flee - 2011-08-18 15:09

      Jonnie you are sadly mistaken..... A Lab Kills Baby?? HHHmmm

      Ilze - 2011-08-18 15:40

      there are more reports in the USA of labs bitting SA is the Boerboel and it won't surprise me if in the next 3 days there is a report of the actual breed of the dog, as it is in most cases not a pitbull, but that never reach the head lines

  • Flee - 2011-08-18 11:35

    First what sparked the dog to attack?? kids teasing it maybe??? Secondly WTF is a pit-bull-mastiff-cross?? Its not a Pit Bull, Its not a Bull Mastiff... It is a Mutt!!! Were they watching tv or outside? She was chased inside but was watching TV... Feel sorry that the dog is to be euthanized...

      daaivark - 2011-08-18 11:41

      More pertinent: Where the hell was the owner of the dog? Why was an attack dog roaming around the streets? Surely the owner of the dog is partially culpable?

      daaivark - 2011-08-18 11:42

      Sure, he came along after the event, and took the dog away. But the dog should never have been on the loose.

      daaivark - 2011-08-18 11:43

      the breed is unimportant. What matters is that it was an effing big vicious kind of dog. Schluss.

      Caz - 2011-08-18 13:32

      well now maybe you should read, "the dog chased another family member into the home where she was watching television with her young cousins." So this tells me the dog attack happend in their house!!!Most cross breeds are dangerous!!

      Flee - 2011-08-18 15:12

      Caz... There had to have been something which sparked the dog, be it food, teasing or anything, Dogs do not just attack for the F of it?? I have a Rott and a Rott cross and they are the most amazing dogs, brill with kids, cats and even the parrot.. It is all in how an animal is brought up...

  • kaz - 2011-08-18 11:40

    it is not the breed it how the owners raise them. i got a pitbull and it is such a loving dog and very good with the kids also this dog was a cross not pure breed

      Risch - 2011-08-18 12:32

      The breed has a lot to do with it. Certain dogs have fighting in their genes (like the pitbull), while others have protective instincts (like labrador). However: a dog is a dog is a wild animal and you cannot trust a wild animal no matter how trained or domesticated you think it is!!

  • Dead Skunk - 2011-08-18 12:26

    I had a Labrador who attacked a little girl of 4, lucky for her I was standing next to her. It was a really horrific experience; he came at her for no reason. I managed to react quickly enough to the situation and caught him with my boot under the jaw. She had a small mark on her chin and a small graze on her forehead. He would have ripped her face off, it makes me shudder even to this day. I had him put down the next day, all the vet said “Never trust a dog”.

      Braddle - 2011-08-18 15:31

      As per Ceasar Malan, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners...

  • Altemoeg - 2011-08-18 13:00

    Get your reporting right News24!! I am a PRPO - Proudly Resonsible Pitbul Owner. With emphasis on RESPONSIBLE. After being held hostage in my own house several years ago I purposefully wanted a 'vicious type dog'!!! I went and got 2 PURE-BRED PITBULLS for their 'reputation'. I am all for tough laws - prohibiting puppy mills, crossbreeding creating genetic cast-offs. Own a pure-bred and you know what you get. This is the MANTRA of the PB Assoc. Don't stuff with the bloodlines! Don't breed mutts because those are the ones that go bonkers. . We have 2 males that have survived attempted poisoning, electrocution and a gunshot to protect us from criminals! So stop villifying the real thing - PURE BRED PITBULLS. You can't just buy a pure-bred pit in SA! You get screened by the breeder like you can't believe!! And up until the age of 1 yr they or the PBFSA (Pitbull Fed of SA) have the right to remove your dog for a host of reasons. Root out the puppy mills. Ban the sale of all cross-breeds and impose a dog-owner levy... I'll gladly pay for my boys because they have saved my family's life several times!!

      Deezil - 2011-08-18 13:18

      Hear hear ... from one PRPO to another. The headline is totally misleading and pretty bad reporting from News24 (but what's new?) ... get your facts straight dammit!

      Ya Beauty! - 2011-08-18 13:21

      mate this happened in Australia read the story correctly. These dogs should not be around kids full stop. You say you have yoour dogs around your family it not your family that they cause a danger to as they see you as the leader of the pack its other people's lives to be precise other people'e children these dogs should be put down full stop....besides a german sherpard is a better guard dog mate....

      Telara - 2011-08-18 14:23

      @ Ya Beauty - Other people's kids shouldn't be in your yard then. You can't put down an animal just in case. Stupid comment.

  • Braddle - 2011-08-18 15:21

    It's not the Dogs fault, it's the owners fault it was agressive. If the dog was trained properly and was a well balanced dog he would not have done what he did. The dog shuoldn't have to be put down, the owners should be charged for culpoble homicide... As per Ceasar Malan, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners...

  • Ilze - 2011-08-18 15:38

    Please read the following link before judging.

      Braddle - 2011-08-18 15:52

      To add to that go to this website:

  • Judy G - 2011-08-18 15:53

    A dog is like a child......what you put in is what you get out!! They need to have love and daily interaction with people. Not left outside in the back yard and ignored. They need to be walked. You are either a pet owner or a breeder. Pet owners should have sterilized animals as they are not hormonal. Stop backyard breeding and not everyone can afford to keep a animal. It is a privilege to have an animal and not a right!!

      Braddle - 2011-08-18 16:03

      A quote from Caesar Millan on Breed and Agression: "I deal with a lot of red zone cases, and I often hear people incorrectly blaming the breed. Any breed can cause trouble. The difference between an aggressive Chihuahua and an aggressive pit bull is that the bigger breeds can cause proportionately bigger damage. It is important to recognize the power of a strong breed, like the pit bull, the Cane Corso, and the Mastiff. These dogs are very powerful and, if they are unbalanced, they can cause serious injury. Remember, these dogs don’t dream of being in the news when they grow up. Dogs don't premeditate bad acts like people do. Bad things happen when powerful breeds (or mixes of powerful breeds) live with humans who like the breed but don’t understand and fulfill the animal in the dog. Many people consider the look or popularity of a breed before thinking about whether the dog works for their lifestyle. This is a recipe for disaster. To control a powerful breed, you need to become the dog’s pack leader and establish rules, boundaries, and limitations. You need to fulfill the dog as Nature intended him to be fulfilled. If you are considering adopting a powerful breed, make sure you are willing and able to take on the responsibility." Here is the website -

      Flee - 2011-08-18 16:51

      Judy and Braddle... Too true, having a Rott weighing in at more than I do, it is all about training and instilling the Alpha Beta situation. I am Boss He is second... So many people poop themselves when they see tiny me (lady), walking with this bigggg dog and controlling him, without any effort... "that the bigger breeds can cause proportionately bigger damage"... SSSooo true, Cocker Spaniels are responsible for more attacks on kids than any other animal... but its a nip, not a chunk...

  • O.J. - 2011-08-18 16:48

    Terrible story. Breeds that are popular or that have a high demand are subject to irresponsible breeding. They are "mass produced" to make profit and not responsibly bread for temprament. This is the case with breeds like Hunskies and even Golden Retrievers. I own a well bread pitbull and the only dogs I have had issues with are the two formentioned. The article talks of a pitbull terrier mix. As soon as a dog looks remotely like a pitbull it makes news when involved in something like this. Look at international ratings. Pitbulls are not even considered in the top 5 for most agressive toward people.

  • pages:
  • 1