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THE NATION

Dachshund Mauls Baby, Critically Injuring Him

December 17, 2002|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A 6-week-old St. Mary's County, Md., boy was in critical condition Monday after being dragged from his playpen and mauled by the family's dachshund, police said.

The infant was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom Sunday morning when his mother, Andrea Meyers, heard cries coming from a baby monitor, according to a report from the criminal investigations unit of the Maryland State Police. When Meyers reached the bedroom, she found the dog attacking the boy, police said.

The dog had chewed a hole through the mesh of the playpen and pulled the baby from it before biting his legs and feet.

When the police arrived at the home, the baby was alert but had numerous wounds on his lower body, a detective sergeant said.

Although state police identified the mother by name, Cpl. Roger Redmond refused to provide the name of the child on grounds he was a juvenile. Redmond said police were continuing their investigation to determine whether charges should be brought against the child's family.

No one answered the telephone at the family home Monday.

Police said the incident was unlike any they could remember in St. Mary's County, particularly involving such a diminutive dog.

Dachshunds aren't typically aggressive, yet preparation is required to familiarize a dog with a new child, said Andra O'Connell, secretary of the Dachshund Club of America.

Otherwise, the animal -- which comes from a hunting breed -- feels like an overlooked older child, she said.

"The dachshund is so incredibly tuned to being a family dog," O'Connell said. "They are very loyal to their family and owners. They don't want to be left out, and for that reason, they will get upset. But attack, no. That's not normal."

St. Mary's County animal control officers removed the dachshund from the Meyers' home.

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