Family dog kills 2-month-old child in bouncer, police say

Police suspect a family’s German shepherd caused an infant’s death in San Marcos.
Police suspect a family’s German shepherd caused an infant’s death in San Marcos. Getty Images/iStockphoto

A German shepherd that has been part of the family for more than eight years has been impounded after the owner told investigators that it apparently bit and killed a baby in the home.

The father of the 2-month-old girl told police that the child was napping in an infant bouncer and that he had fallen asleep Tuesday afternoon. The mother was away at work.

The dad, in his 30s, awoke about 20 minutes later to find the baby unresponsive with numerous animal bites, according to a San Marcos police news release.

The baby was “cold to the touch with obvious injury,” the release said. She was taken to Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos shortly after emergency crews got the call at 1:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead by the justice of the peace at 2:08 p.m.

The dog was submissive when investigators approached and was removed from the home, which is in the 1000 block of Sagewood Trail. It will be impounded for at least 10 days, “after which a determination will be made on whether it will be euthanized,” the release said.

Police Commander Kelly Earnest said Wednesday that the family told her the dog was always good with the infant, had been with the family since it was a puppy and had no history of aggressive behavior.

“As you can imagine, the family is very traumatized and upset,” she said in a news conference that was streamed on Facebook Live. “They’ve suffered two losses — first their infant daughter and also their family pet.”

No arrests have been made.

“We have an open investigation,” Earnest said. “CPS is involved as well.”

Police are awaiting autopsy results from the Travis County medical examiner.

On average, about 16 people die in the United States each year as a result of dog attacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh


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