Sheriff: Boy's death an accident; dogs put down
By Tara Fasol-Chambers, The Southern
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11:13 PM CDT
JOHNSTON CITY - Three dogs apparently involved in the death of a 3-year-old Johnston City boy were euthanized at 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Williamson County Sheriff Tom Cundiff.
The sheriff said the investigation is complete, and the boy's death has been ruled accidental.
Gabrial Mandrell-Sauerhage was pronounced dead about 8:50 p.m. Saturday at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. Family found him badly injured after he pushed the screen from his bedroom window and crawled outside.
Williamson County Coroner Mike "Junior" Burke previously said the child sustained a number of dog bites, but one specific bite caused him to hemorrhage.
Family members said the child usually resided with his father, Stacey Sauerhage, but was visiting his mother, Michelle Sweeney, and her boyfriend, David Robinson, at their home at 13093 Willow Pond Road in Johnston City.
The couple had three dogs, two pit bull mixes and a collie mix. Police said in a previous statement it is believed the collie mix was tied up during the incident while the pit bulls were loose.
Cundiff said the child was attacked about 200 feet from the home and crawled from the window, which was at the opposite side of the house as the adults' bedroom. The release went on to state that Gabrial suffered at least one bite that would have made "yelling impossible."
"The residence didn't have air conditioning," Cundiff said in a news release issued Tuesday. "Numerous box fans running at the same time of the incident would have made it very hard for the adults in the house to hear anything outside."
Sweeney and Robinson requested all three dogs be euthanized the night of the attack, but the lead detectives called for the animals to be held at Williamson County Animal Control shelter until the investigation was complete.
In a release Tuesday, Cundiff said the attack might have been triggered by a stuffed animal that was found in the yard.
"It appears Gabrial brought the stuffed animal out with him when he left his bedroom through his open window," the release stated.
Cundiff said the family told detectives no aggression "had ever been shown to any family member from any of the three dogs."
However, Amy Fowler, a neighbor, said the pit bulls were often loose and were a nuisance, threatening members of her family in their yard. Fowler said she witnessed Gabrial playing with the collie several times, outside and unsupervised. She said the collie mix didn't seem to cause any problems.
Cundiff said it was unclear whether all or some of the dogs contributed to the incident, although it appeared more than one dog was involved.
Local Girl Severely Mauled by Pitbull 6/11/09
CBS 7 News
June 11, 2009
Just one week ago, 3-year-old Shaylee was playing at her grandmother's house in Bonham, Texas.
Moments later she was brutally attacked by a neighbor's pit bull.
Now Shaylee's family is praying for a miracle.
Shaylee is recovering at the Dallas Children's Hospital surrounded by family and where a team of doctors are working to repair extensive injuries that she suffered.
Here at home friends are working on bringing the crosson family some hope.
80-percent of her scalp ripped away and deep gashes to her little face.
Shaylee crosson is fighting for her life after a vicious pit bull attack turned a visit to grandma's into a nightmare.
Friends Romi Abalos and Chloe Dow have children Shaylee's age.
They play together . And when they got the calls from their friend Lacyee on the night of June 4th about the attack, they knew right then they needed to help.
“We celebrate b-days together…we do alot of b-b-q's together it's tough to see. These people are like brothers and sisters there is nothing we wouldn't do for each other.”
For Shaylee's parents times have been tough financially and emotionaly.
And for the little girl affectionantly called "Shaylee bug" the road ahead will be a long one. Enduring four surgeries in just a one week and more reconstructive surgery in the future.
“She's never going to look the same but she's alive and that's more precious than anything in the world.”
Better still, ban their irresponsible, poorly-trained owners from owning them and whose brain is not bigger than a quarter-pounder McD's burger.
Chow chows are the black tongue ones Ogionik.
I remember visiting my now wife after she had added a Chow Chow to her family and being a dog person as well as a cat person within a few minutes I had this large dog on my lap combing her.
Seeing a coffee table book on the breed I then pick it up and with this dog still on my lap I read how they trend to not be friendly to strangers and should be introduce to new people slowly for everyone safety.
Laughing I open her mouth and check to see if she did indeed have the black tongue of a real Chow Chow and she surely did.
A real nice dog and it always annoy me that my girlfriend/now wife kept taking her to her old vet who had a real fear of the breed and had his whole staff fearing the breed along with him. She needed to be muzzle whenever she went to that vet.