SHERMAN TOWNSHIP, Michigan — A 4-year-old girl was killed after being attacked by her family’s new dog, Michigan authorities said.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s office said the attack happened Sunday afternoon in the backyard of the family’s home in Sherman Township,when the girl offered the dog a treat.
“The dog come and sniffed it. And then stepped back. Then come, sniffed it again,” neighbor Becky Davis told WOOD-TV. “And evidently the third time he got her.”
Police say the girl’s mother, Jacey McNeal Wolkins, tried to fight off the dog — which was believed to be a Doberman mix — to protect her daughter but failed. She was hospitalized with wounds to her head and hands.
Relatives identified the girl as Kiyana McNeal. She was described as “beautiful, vibrant, funny, and more empathetic than most adults we know,” on a fundraising page set up by her family.
“She loved to dance, read, and, most of all, sing. She was a performer; a sweet light that was put out far too early,” the page read.
The family had just gotten the dog that day to replace a dog that had recently died, according to WWMT-TV. The animal was taken into custody by the local animal care and control.