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Boy killed by family dogs in Whitehall has been identified

Posted at 8:09 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 12:09:56-04

Four-year old Elliot Sherwin has been identified as the young boy who was killed by two dogs in Whitehall on May 9th.

The boy was mauled by two Rottweiler dogs on May 9th at his grandparents' home on Cedar Hills Road.

Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Dolittle said that Sherwin left his grandparents outside to go inside their home, and after 45 minutes the grandparents went to check on him.

When they found him inside, they started CPR; when a Sheriff's deputy and emergency medical personnel arrived, Sherwin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Dolittle said, "The cause of death is numerous puncture wounds and lacerations to his arms, legs, torso area."

Sherwin's grandparents had gained custody of the boy and had recently moved to the area from Washington.

Sherwin and the two dogs had grown up with each another since the dogs were puppies. There were no indications or reports that the dogs had ever been vicious in the past.

The dogs were euthanized by a veterinarian.

The child's death has been ruled accidental, and at this point, there are no indications that charges will be filed.

According to the website Dogs Bite, there were 48 dog bite-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2019, the last year for which they have complete data:

  • 48 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2019. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 900 U.S. cities,pit bulls contributed to 69% (33) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 8% of the total U.S. dog population.
  • In 2019, the combination of pit bulls (33), American bulldogs (1), rottweilers (4) and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs (1) -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- accounted for 81% (39) of all dog bite-related deaths.
  • Mixed-breeds had the second highest death rate in 2019, involved in 6 deaths; pit bulls participated in 50% of these mixed-breed attacks.3 Rottweilers followed, inflicting 4 deaths. Three different dog breeds followed, each involved in 2 deaths.
  • Eight different dog breeds inflicted 1 death, including: American bulldog, Belgian malinois, coonhound, doberman pinscher, Dutch shepherd, great dane, husky and mastiff. Overall, 14 different dog breeds contributed to 48 human deaths in 2019.
  • During the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, canines killed 521 Americans. Two dog breeds, pit bulls (346) and rottweilers (51), contributed to 76% (397) of these deaths. 35 different dog breeds were involved in the remaining fatal dog maulings.