ShareThis Page
News

West Mifflin dog blamed in toddler's death set to be euthanized

| Thursday, March 5, 2015, 7:57 a.m.

The kennel owner holding a dog responsible for fatally mauling a 2-year-old in West Mifflin last month said the animal is scheduled to be euthanized Thursday.

Ken Ferree of Ferree Kennels in McKeesport said a veterinarian is scheduled to give the dog, described as a pit bull terrier mix, a fatal injection.

The dog is blamed for attacking TayLynn DeVaughn of Forest Hills at about 8:45 p.m. Feb. 22 while the toddler's family was visiting a home on Fleetwood Street.

Ferree said the dog's owners were out of town when the incident happened but indicated to him they intended to have the animal put down.

Ferree said Wednesday the owners had not yet completed related paperwork but that would not prevent the dog from being put down.

The dog has been quarantined at the kennel since the night of the incident. Ferree said a 10-day quarantine period is standard in cases in which an animal has attacked a person. He said he has kept the police and the Allegheny County dog warden up to date on the canine's status.

Ferree, who is animal control officer for West Mifflin and a number of other local communities, said the dog — which is 3 to 4 years old and weighs about 80 pounds — was aggressive and uncooperative the night of the attack but has been somewhat withdrawn since.

“The dog is still doing the thousand-mile stare. This dog is odd,” Ferree said. “It's been here 10 days and you still can't read this dog.”

Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said no criminal charges have been filed as a result of his department's investigation.

“The (district attorney's) office will make the final determination,” Schurman said.

Allegheny County District Attorney's Office spokesman Mike Manko said he had nothing to report on the investigation.

The day after the attack, the victim's father, Cory DeVaughn, told Trib Total Media news exchange partner WPXI 11 it was the second time his daughter had been around the dog. He said he didn't blame anyone and that everyone was hurting.

The Medical Examiner's Office ruled the toddler's cause of death as accidental from injuries to the head and neck caused by a dog.

She was pronounced dead at Jefferson Hospital the night of the attack.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me