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Toddler dies after attack by pit bull
in Prescott, Ark.

By Associated Press
9:23 PM CDT, October 28, 2009

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) -- A 2-year-old boy who wandered away from his babysitter's house and into range of a chained pit bull has died after the dog attacked him.

Matthew Clayton Hurt was pronounced dead Wednesday at a hospital in Texarkana after he was taken there following the attack that morning.

The child had walked down a busy street to the house where the pit bulldog was chained and inside a dog house.

Police Chief Brian Russell said the dog was taken to a kennel in Nashville, Ark., for observation. Russell said he had asked the State Police to investigate.

Toddler dies after attack by pit bull
in Prescott, Ark.

Katherina- Marie Yancy Paul Rittler - 11 hurs ago









A 2-year-old Prescott boy dies after being mauled by a pit bull. It happened Wednesday morning just after 9 a.m. off Bemis Road. The city of Prescott is Southwest of Little Rock.

Family and friends wouldn't go on camera, but say the toddler saw a puppy and chased it to a backyard where the larger pit bull was. They know this because his 3-year-old brother followed him and than rushed home to alert the family.

Families, police and emergency personnel are distraught over the events that occurred Wednesday morning. Neighbor Bridgette Monroe recalls, "A lady came running from this way screaming, my baby, my baby."

Monroe was in the process of moving and ran with the woman. She continues, "I was down there with the baby rubbing his arms and legs telling the baby it's going to be ok."

Monroe says the chained pit bulls hid in their dog houses. Her account of the scene is disturbing. "The babies' jugular, throat was bitten and from his mouth up to his eye was bitten."

Chief Brian Russell says, "It's a 2-year-old baby and each of us have our own children; it destroys you and he's not here because of something like this."

Chief Russell says police and emergency crews arrived within minutes and he was airlifted to St. Michael's where he was pronounced dead.

"There very well could be charges either way. We'll just have to see where the investigation goes from here," Chief Russell adds.

Richard Ray Smith points, "The dog attacked the kid right there."

Smiths' mother owns the dog; she was home when the incident happened. He says, "She stood over the baby until the ambulance got here."

Smith continues, "The dog has been raised with us and all the kids have played with the dog. It's not a violent dog, we don't know what happened. I have grief for the family."

But two doors down where the kids were staying, Kevin Taylor and Christy Godwin say they were afraid of the dogs and told the owners they were vicious.

Smith concludes, "We don't want the family to be mad at us, it's just an accident that happened."

After our interview with Bridgette Monore, she found out she's related to the toddler.

Animal Control is holding two adult pit bulls until the investigation is over; the puppy has not been caught.

Chief Russell says the owners were in compliance with the dog ordinance and the State Police is involved.

The sibling's age 8-months, two and three-years-old stayed with Kevin Taylor and Christy Godwin while their mom worked. Godwin says they are like family.

Dogs Deserve Better, Inc. is a 501c3 national nonprofit organization.Parents Against Dog Chaining is currently a program of Dogs Deserve Better, and as such all donations are tax-deductible according to IRS guidelines. All funds donated to the Parents Against Dog Chaining program will initially go into the DDB general fund account; however, they will be earmarked and used for Parents Against Dog Chaining materials and campaigns.

Special thanks to Emily Pennel, who faithfully catalogs attacks on her informative chained dog site,

CONTACT: Beth at or Tamira C. Thayne founder of
Parents Against Dog Chaining and Dogs Deserve Better at
or at 877-636-1408

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