Ariz. family reeling from fatal dog attack

Nov. 7, 2007 at 4:00 PM

PHOENIX, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- A family in Maricopa County, Ariz., is struggling to understand why their family dog turned on 4-year-old Tori Whitehurst and mauled her to death.

Family members said that Tori loved the family's dog, Cane, but for some reason the American bulldog attacked the girl this week, causing fatal injuries, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

Ian Whitehurst said that a nanny had been babysitting Tori and her older sister on Monday, along with Cane and three other dogs, when the attack occurred. The nanny left the group alone in the backyard and when she returned the bulldog was attacking its owner, Ian Whitehurst said.

Whitehurst said that his family didn't blame the nanny, who attempted to free the girl by stabbing the dog with a pair of scissors.

"She feels terrible," he told the Republic. "She doesn't deserve this. It's not her fault. It's nobody's fault. It just happened."

The Republic said that police freed the girl by shooting the dog but her injuries proved fatal.

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