2 dogs kill child, 6, in Fanning Springs, Levy officials say

Published: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 11:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.

FANNING SPRINGS — The 6-year-old boy had played many times with his family's two pit bulls, authorities said, but on Thursday morning the two dogs turned on him and killed him outside a Fanning Springs home.

The boy's name and address, as well as that of his family, were being withheld Thursday pending notification of his mother, said Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, who gave this account:

The boy's father has custody of the boy, and the boy's aunt had driven the father to work Thursday morning before taking the youngster back to the home she shared with the boy's grandfather.

Once there, she let the boy go outside to play, and the two dogs followed him out. The sheriff described this as routine.

The aunt and the grandfather were inside watching television when the aunt looked outside and saw the boy lying in the driveway, unresponsive. She ran outside, and the family called 911 at 8:15 a.m.

First responders from multiple agencies arrived, but the child was dead.

"It appears right now to be a terrible tragedy," McCallum said. "The family is incredibly distraught."

McCallum said the family has never had any problems with the dogs and that they were "well cared for" and current on their shots.

The dogs, as well as four other dogs in pens on the property, were seized by the Levy County Animal Control, he said.

A victim's advocate from the Levy County Sheriff's Office was on scene to assist the family, and the Dixie County chaplain and Marion County Debriefing Team were called in to assist the first responders and dispatchers involved.

Units from the Fanning Springs Fire Department, Levy County Department of Public Safety, LCSO and Levy County Animal Control responded to the scene.

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