"When you have toddlers around, you always want to be vigilant. They get into everything,"said Linsy Devouassoux, the mother of busy 27-month-old Caleb.
The tragic death of Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan hit close to home for the Devouassoux family. They have a German Shepard named Neige and a pitbull mix named Pippa.
"I can't even get my head around it. I can't imagine what the family is feeling," Devouassoux said.
She adds the family has always been careful of how Caleb interacts with the dogs and they keep a careful eye on the behavior of the dogs when they are around Caleb.
"We love them. They are part of the family but you have to set up that tree of who's in charge and even the baby is going to be in charge of the dogs," Hans Devouassoux said.
Vets say keeping dogs engaged and familiar with changing environments can help keep a tragedy from happening.
"You want to raise good dog citizens. You want them comfortable around new people, small children, new situations. You don't want to encourage a lot of aggressive play in the home," Dr. Debbie White said.
Dog experts say people can let their guard down too much and it can get to the point where they consider the animals to be like humans. It is easy to forget how powerful pets can be.
"No matter what kind of dog, if you have a large breed dog, you want to be especially cautious. Respect that breed and the force of a potential bite, always respect that and keep that in mind when you have children in the home," Dr. White said.
The dog that killed Jeremiah is a 6-year-old mastiff-mix that showed no signs of aggression before the attack. The dog was deemed vicious and will be destroyed by animal control.
An account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank in the name of the Jeremiah Eskew-Shanan Memorial Fund. The boy's funeral is on Thursday, May 3.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
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Monday, September 1 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:58:50 GMT
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Monday, September 1 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:51:43 GMT
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