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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2007
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Rottweiler was chained during fatal mauling of toddler

BREWTON (AP) — A local Humane Society official said the Rottweiler that fatally mauled a Brewton toddler did not socialize with people and its propensity to bite was increased when it was tethered in the child's yard.

"One thing people need to realize is any time they tether a dog, they increase the chance of it biting someone by four times," said Renee Jones, director of the local Humane Society. "With power breeds like Rottweilers or German shepherds that are highly territorial, tethering decreases their area and their ability to run from a threat."

Authorities said 18-month-old Taylor Kitlica died from massive head injuries in the mauling Sunday in the yard of her home. Her 21/2-year-old brother suffered minor injuries.

Escambia County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Maj. Mike Murphy said the family told officers they found the male Rottweiler roaming the neighborhood Sunday and tied it to a post, hoping the owner would see it and reclaim it. When the parents weren't looking, the children approached the dog, the family told authorities.

The Rottweiler was taken by the Humane Society to a Brewton veterinarian's office, where it was destroyed.

Jones said the Rottweiler did not appear to be used to interacting with people, not making eye contact with people in the yard, while the other dogs seemed well behaved.

She said the animal, which had not been neutered, did not appear to be neglected. "It was a beautiful animal, like a show quality male dog," Jones said.

She said the fatal mauling may spur action on an ordinance dealing with dangerous dogs.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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