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Family: Before Girl Was Mauled, Dad Argued With Dog Owner

Emma Hernandez's aunt says that happened about a week before 9-year-old was killed
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 8:33 AM CDT
Deborah Golden, center, talks with Detroit police after she tried to render aid to a young girl who later died of her injuries in Detroit on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.   (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP)
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(Newser) – The fatal mauling of a 9-year-old girl in Detroit came just a week after her father argued with the dogs' owner about the need to properly contain them. Emma Hernandez was riding her bike in an alley behind her home Monday when three pit bulls attacked. Emma's aunt tells ClickonDetroit that the girl's father had recently confronted the owner, who CNN reports is a 33-year-old male, about the dogs not being properly fenced, but nothing was done. She told the Free Press, "My understanding is that the fence isn’t tall enough and they were able to jump over and that’s how they got to Emma." Neighbors tried to get the dogs off Emma by shooting at them and throwing a brick.

WXYZ spoke with a neighbor who described a truly horrifying scene: "I seen the little girl flat (on) her back with the bite marks and part of her neck hanging off. I started CPR and I had the dad grab the neck and hold it." The dogs are expected to be euthanized. The owner was arrested Monday; Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Tuesday that a warrant request is pending. "Certainly, the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secure at all times," said Craig. A GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of Emma's funeral has blown past its $25,000 goal, sitting at nearly $50,000. (Read more pit bull stories.)

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