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Staying Safe with Aggressive Dogs

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She would have been two years old in June.

But instead of celebrating a birthday, tonight a family is preparing for a funeral.

That's after the unthinkable death of a Bryan County toddler at the hands of a pack of dogs.

21-month old Monica Laminack died after being savagely attack by seven of her own family's dogs.

Deputies were called to a home on Elm Drive in Ellabell around 6:30 Wednesday night.

Five people, including the girl's mother and grandmother were inside the home, some of them were sleeping when all seven dogs who attacked were considered pets.

The big question is, why do these kinds of attacks happen and where do we go from here?

I did some digging and took those questions to a pet bog behaviorist, Kevin Ray of Canine Therapy Center.

It wouldn't it be nice if the answer were easy, but Ray says the truth of the matter is, there are many reasons as to why this could have happened.

He says often dogs attack children, because little ones are not aware of boundaries like adults. He calls them "doggie rules."

"Children just by their very nature break a lot of doggie rules. They come over the top of them and they like to hug then and hold them. They squeal and they run away and they become prey like for a dog; a dog is still a predator by the way."

Children can even be mistaken as a toy.

"From the dogs' perspective, it could have been innocent. They could have seen this child as a tug, like with a tug toy, one that squeaks or something if it's a very tiny child. We just don't know, we are not going to know."

No matter what, Ray says parental supervision and education is the key-- but if you have concerns, there are some red flags to look out for.

"Pushiness or mouthiness; lots of mouthing. I personally don't like dogs' teeth on human skin. I just haven't found a real good reason for that to happen. You want to lick me, lick me all you want to, but keep your teeth to yourself."

Ray says attacks are not breed specific, any dog can attack if in a stressful situation. And in all his years of training, he has never been bit by a pit bull.

Because they were euthanized on the spot, it's hard to know exactly what caused this-- and it could be anything from a lack of food, to just thinking the child was a play toy.

Dogs may be man's best friend, but let's not forget, they are animals.

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