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Neighbors are grieving over a dog attack that ended with the death of a 13-month-old boy in New Orleans.
New Orleans police responded to a call in the 5500 block of Seminary Place at around 6:45 PM on July 11. The attack happened at the boy’s home, who was identified as Apollo Duplantis.
Neighbor Rhonda Peychaud said, “I’m devastated. It’s terrible. I don’t see how something like that can happen, but I guess it happens.”
The toddler was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually died.
“She usually walks the dog off the leash with the little baby. It was surprising to see that that happened because she’s always walking the dog up and down the block off the leash. It was a friendly dog,” one neighbor said.
The incident was also responded to by the LASPCA’s New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue (NOHLR) squad. The 911 report described a 13-month-old toddler being attacked and seriously hurt by a mixed-breed family dog. The LASPCA officer arrived on the scene and was awaiting a warrant to enter the residence and take the dog. In the seconds that followed, a second NOHLR officer arrived on the scene.
According to the LASPCA, once the warrant was acquired, the two NOHLR police attempted to leash the dog over the backyard fence. After their attempts proved unsuccessful, they went into the backyard. The cops tried to harness the dog again, but before they could do so, one of the officers was assaulted.
The NOPD officers were still in the area when they heard the NOHLR officer calling for aid. That’s when NOPD officers said they entered the yard and saw the dog attack the worker. In reaction to the attack, an officer shot once at the dog, killing it. The officer who shot the dog is presently on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
The LASPCA issued a statement saying, “Unfortunately, accidents are never completely preventable, but the Louisiana SPCA urges parents and pet owners to teach both their children and pets the best ways to interact with one another. With proper training techniques and behaviors practiced, a significant portion of bite cases can be avoided.”
“We are heartbroken that a toddler was killed by a dog attack last night. Our deepest sympathies go out to the grieving family. The Louisiana SPCA places human life and safety first and foremost,” said Ana Zorrilla, Louisiana SPCA CEO.