SHERMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Neighbors say a 4-year-old girl killed by her new dog was giving the animal a biscuit when it suddenly attacked.
The mauling happened at 4:03 p.m. Sunday at the family’s home in the 63000 block of W. Fish Lake Road, located in Sherman Township, north of Sturgis.
“I was in my bedroom and I heard the screaming. And I heard somebody holler, ‘Becky!’” said Becky Davis.
Davis and her husband Kenneth live next door to the girl they identified as Kiyana McNeal and her mother, Jacey McNeal Wolkins.
They say Wolkins adopted the dog, described as a Doberman or Doberman mix, shortly before the attack. Kiyana’s mother told Becky Davis the girl was training the dog with a treat.
“The dog come and sniffed it. And then stepped back. Then come, sniffed it again,” recounted Becky Davis. “And evidently the third time he got her.”
The Davises say the dog grabbed Kiyana by the neck. Her mother was injured trying to fight the dog off. Family members say she has since been released from the hospital.
Neighbors saw the child being carried from the home as they waited for help.
“The mother and the guy who brought the dog, they had the baby on the ground doing CPR. It didn’t do any good,” said Becky Davis.
A YouCaring page set up to cover Kiyana’s funeral expenses said the dog attacked the young girl as its old owner began to leave.
“The man that had it (the dog) said he’d never bothered a child or nothing before. No, there was no warning,” Davis added.
WDIV, the NBC affiliate out of Detroit, spoke with Kiyana’s father Monday. Gerald Johnson said he is clinging to his daughter’s memory through videos of the two of them together.
“She was our world. That’s my little baby girl,” Johnson said. “My baby girl will always be loved and we’re going to treasure all the videos and the pictures that we have of her.”
He told WDIV his daughter loved animals and had dreamed of becoming a veterinarian.
“On her way to doing a lot of things, great things in life,” Johnson said of Kiyana. “It’s just a tragic loss. She will be sorely missed.”
The Davises were close to Kiyana, often watching the girl. Kenneth Davis installed a gate in the fence between the two homes so Kiyana could visit while he worked in the yard. Both are at a loss to explain why such a tragedy occurred.
“It doesn’t seem possible this happened like it has. And that was just last night,” said Kenneth Davis.
“She was a beautiful, beautiful little girl,” added Becky Davis.
The dog remains quarantined at St. Joseph County Animal Control in Centerville pending the outcome of the investigation.