A couple from Oahu lost their baby after she was attacked by their pet dog.
It happened Monday in the northwest Las Vegas valley.
Layla Tsuda, who is originally from Kaneohe, said in a statement: “I have no words to explain my pain.”
Six-month-old Kamiko was playing in a baby walker near Mana, the family pit bull, when it happened.
According to the family, Tsuda went to the bathroom and when she came back, she found Mana biting the baby. Kamiko was taken to the hospital and later died.
The family was blindsided by the attack. We’re told Mana has been a part of the family for nine years, has never bit anyone before, and was considered a good family pet.
So what could have triggered it, and what can you do to ensure your newborn child is safe around your family pet?
Dr. Richard Fujie, a veterinarian at King Street Pet Hospital, says pet dog attacks against a child are rare. He says most dogs realize the baby is special, so when an attack happens, it’s hard to pinpoint what triggered it.
“Like in humans, we all have different behaviors. Some are violent, some are passive. Dogs, the same thing too,” Fujie said. “In this situation, I have no idea what happened. It could be a sharp noise, loud noise that scared the dog. … Supervision is always important. Staying with your child when dog is around, keeping child and dog separate until they’re older is important.”
Fujie says you can also help the pet become more comfortable with a newborn by doing the following:
- Prepare the dog months before the baby is brought home,
- Introduce your child slowly to your pet,
- Keep the pet active and part of family activities, and
- Make sure no jealousy is involved.
Fujie notes that any dog, not just pit bulls, can attack.
“I had a client who moved to California. They had a Maltese, rather aggressive dog. They had a new baby coming home. Small, white, fluffy, sweet dog. I guess it was very protective of the family, the couple,” Fujie said.
Fujie says the dog was trained in California and did not harm the newborn baby.
“Parents need to just train their dogs to be obedient and introduce a baby gradually to the dog,” he said.
The family says Mana will be put down.
Kamiko’s organs were donated because Tsuda says she does not want others to feel what she’s feeling. A GoFundMe page was created to help the family with funeral expenses.