Pit bulls kill 5-year-old, maul her grandmother

January 13th, 2011 by Staff


WAXHAW, N.C. – A little girl has died and her grandmother is in the hospital after two pit bulls attacked them on Wednesday.
Waxhaw police say the two dogs attacked 5-year-old Makayla Woodard and 67-year-old Nancy Presson in their front yard. The dogs were captured and killed by police
It happened around 11 a.m. on Rehobeth Road near downtown Waxhaw.
Neighbors say they had complained many times about the two dogs roaming free. The police chief had a hard time discussing the attack, describing it as gruesome. Neighbors are struggling too, saying this tragedy could have been avoided.
Amy Plyler chokes up talking about her young cousin.
“She was a good kid,” Plyler says. “She loved to play dress up and play in the snow.”
Plyler says the little girl was mauled on the way to play with her own dogs. Two of the neighbor’s pit bulls pinned her down, biting the Waxhaw elementary student repeatedly in the neck. Her grandmother was bitten in the arm trying to save her.
Caroline King has two children and lives just down the street. She says the dogs attacked her just a few weeks ago but backed away before actually biting her.
“Why were they not secure? Could they have stopped this?” King asked. “Now a 5-year-old is dead and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Angry neighbors join anguished family members, upset because the pit bulls often roamed free. Police confirm they warned the owner at Christmas to keep them penned in, but the homeowner admitted to us the dogs often managed to hop the fence.
“The fact there were previous complaints, I don’t understand why they were out in the first place,” said Plyler.
The police chief says there is a suspect and charges are likely. But that’s coming too late for Makayla’s cousin.
“She was just such a good kid, beautiful… smart… and she was loved very much,” Plyler said.
According to Waxhaw’s town ordinance, dogs must be contained on a property by a fence or invisible security system.
The Waxhaw chief told reporters the reason it’s difficult to enforce the leash law is because there is no animal control officer. That should change next month.


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