World

Boy, 9, mauled to death by dogs

Sister's pit bulls attack him while he is left alone in trailer

Ever since his mother's death a few years ago, Tyler Trammell-Huston has been under foster care.

And the nine-year-old's wish for Christmas "was to have a mother".

His sister, Ms Alexandria Griffin-Heady, 24, was given permission to have him for overnight weekend visits. So she brought him home to her trailer in Linda, California, where she lives with her three pitbulls.

On Sunday, Tyler was left alone in the trailer with the dogs and when Ms Griffin-Heady returned home from her security guard shift a few hours later, the boy had been mauled to death.

The three dogs, a mother and two offspring that Ms Griffin-Heady had raised from puppyhood, are now in an animal shelter. They will be euthanised if they are determined to be dangerous animals, Yuba County Undersheriff Jerry Read said.

Ms Griffin-Heady had been trying to adopt her brother and she almost succeeded when the Sacramento County Child Protective Services allowed her to have him for overnight weekend visits.

She told Fox 40 in Sacramento: "I failed him, whether it's my fault, my dogs' fault, whoever's fault. I wanted to protect him, and I wanted to give him an amazing life.

"He loved them (the dogs). He lay in the bed with them. He played with them."

FOSTER HOMES

Mr Donald Thorpe, the boy's uncle, told Fox6now.com that Tyler had a hard life. He was in and out of foster homes after his mother died of a drug overdose - homeless on the streets of Sacramento.

Mr Roberto Marquez, a lawyer representing Ms Griffin-Heady, said his client had no sense that her dogs could pose a threat.

He said: "If she had any hint at all that these dogs had any propensity for violence, she would never have left her brother with them."

However, Tyler's aunt, Ms Laura Badeker, alleged that Ms Griffin-Heady was incapable of caring for the boy. She said she repeatedly told the agency she thought Tyler was unsafe with his sister.

united statesUncategorisedanimalsAdoptioneuthanised