A grieving father says he doesn’t blame the three pit bulls that mauled his 9-year-old little girl to death while playing outside of her home.
But he does blame the dogs’ owner.
As WXYZ reports, Emma Valentina Hernandez was in an alley near her Michigan home around 4 p.m. when three pit bulls, owned by her neighbor, began mauling her.
After hearing the little girl’s screams, Deborah Golden told WXYZ that she came out of her home to find Hernandez unable to protect herself from the animals. Golden said it was “the worst scene she’s ever seen”:
“When I come out of my house, I heard all the screaming and I was aware something bad had happened. I seen the little girl flat in her back with the bite marks and part of her neck hanging off.”
Another person who saw the attack happen was Edward Cruz. He said he rushed to the little girl’s aid and attempted to get the dogs off of Hernandez:
“I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog. They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was okay and I yelled out for help.”
Debrah said she “started CPR,” while the 9-year-old’s dad “grabbed the neck and held it.”
Sadly, Hernandez did not survive the attack and passed away on August 19. Now, local police are investigating after the owner of the dogs was arrested, and the two other dogs were captured Animal Control.
Detriot Police captain Russell Solano told WXYZ that one of the dogs was shot by a friend of its owner:
“You’re talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing and now she’s not here.”
Cruz, who knew the dogs, said the attack was very out of character:
“I did not realize that they would be doing this. They’re not vicious dogs, they’re really nice dogs, they’re gentle, I don’t know what came over them.”
However, in an interview with Hernandez’s father, Armando, he told WWJ that he argued with the owner just a week before the attack because the owner reportedly didn’t care for the dogs as he should have.
“I tried my best. I tried CPR, I tried helping her. I couldn’t do it. I tried, I did everything I could in my power to just — she was gone. She was gone when I reached her. I knew the dogs were there. I knew the neighbor. We had an argument about it just last week and he just didn’t take care of his dogs properly. He could have prevented this.”
The father went on to say that he doesn’t blame the dogs:
“Last year, November 2017, the police came out and made a report about it but they didn’t follow up on it. The dogs stayed there loose, wild, and the guy didn’t feed them. The poor dogs, you know, I don’t blame them.
Just, I’m speechless. There’s no words. I feel so empty. I don’t know what to do. I’m really heartbroken right now. I can’t explain it. Just over and over, I keep replaying it. I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t slept. Just, every time I close my eyes, man, I see my baby girl.”
On a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising money for Hernandez’s funeral, the 9-year-old was described as a smart and silly girl who loved life:
Emma dedicated her life to school work, playing and enjoying life with her family. Quick to get a head start on school work. She was such a smart and silly girl. Loved to be outdoors and play with her cousins. A beautiful soul inside and out.
We are all devastated by Emma’s loss and were not prepared for the high cost of a funeral service. We want to give Emma the memorial she deserves, to honor her memory and say our last goodbyes.
It’s unclear if the owner will face any charges.