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Babysitter Accused of Negligence in 4-Year-Old’s Dog Bite Death

A little girl died last week in Prairie City, Illinois. While she and her brother were at a babysitter's house on April 22, the babysitter's dog bit the child so seriously that she had to be taken to the hospital by air ambulance. The 24-year old babysitter is now facing felony charges of child endangerment and neglect that could send her to prison for 25 years.

While dog bites often result in very serious injuries, deaths are rare. According to one survey, 31 people died from dog attacks in the U.S. in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

Tragically, this dog bite resulted in the death of a child.

The 4-year-old was bitten at around 2:00 p.m. and was immediately flown to a Des Moines hospital. She died, surrounded by her family, at 11:30 a.m. on April 24.

"She fought so hard," her stricken mother told reporters. "She is loved and will be missed."

The dog, an American Staffordshire Terrier, has been deemed dangerous by authorities, meaning it can no longer kept in the city. It is currently under quarantine at a local veterinary clinic. The city is also planning to review its animal control policies, although officials refused to say whether there had been any previous instances of this dog having bitten someone.

According to local reporters, the Iowa Department of Human Services may also investigate whether the parents were negligent in entrusting their daughter to this particular babysitter.

The babysitter is charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependant person, which carries a potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of at least $1,000, along with child endangerment causing serious injury or death, a more serious felony with a potential sentence of 25 years, if she is convicted.

The little girl was passionate about the outdoors and loved dogs and other animals. All of our sympathies go out to her parents and loved ones.

Source: Des Moines Register, "Prairie City girl dies from dog bite injuries; baby sitter charged," Jens Manuel Krogstad and Sharyn Jackson, April 23, 2013

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