ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) -- A 2-year-old Alvin girl was killed Friday evening by the dog a relative said her family planned to have taken away because it was aggressive.
Brazoria County deputies said the child was left alone in the front yard with the dog, when the family took some bags inside from their shopping trip.
She died at the scene following attempts to revive her. The mixed-breed dog was euthanized, and will be tested for rabies, which is protocol.
No charges have been filed against the parents, with the sheriff's office calling it a tragedy. The family and the toddler have not been identified.
More than three dozen fatal dog attacks occurred last year in the U.S., according to DogsBite.org.
Natalie Freshour founded Hot Mess Pooches Rescue. She is also a professional dog trainer in the Houston area.
"Whenever I'm researching dog bite fatalities, it's along the lines of the dog not being properly socialized," she said.
"They're not around people, they're kept outside, kept on chains. They're not properly trained, and they're not spayed or neutered. Those are the dogs that cause the most dog bite cases," she said.
Families can think the dog they raised from a pup is safe to be around a child. Freshour thinks the opposite. "Children should never be left alone with a dog," she said. "If you're going to take a shower, put the dog up. Don't let it stay with the child," she said.
"Children should be taught not to fall on top of the dog, not to pull its ears, and if the dog wants to get away from the child, let it go," she said. "If the dog's eyes get big and its ears go back, you know they don't want to be messed with. It's our responsibility to make sure we don't set the dog, or the children up for failure, or in this case, something much worse."
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2-year-old mauled to death by family's dog in Alvin