NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A toddler has died as a result of a dog attack, according to the New Orleans Police Department. On Monday evening, the NOPD began investigating what they are calling an “unclassified death,” near Pontchartrain Park.
The NOPD says that shortly before 7, officers responded to the 5500 block of Seminary Place, after receiving a call of a 13-month-old boy who was bit by a dog. The child was taken to a local hospital where he later died. On Tuesday morning, the New Orleans Coroner’s Office identified the child killed as Apollo Duplantis. The attack occurred at the child’s home.
LASPCA’s New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue (NOHLR) team also received the call and responded to the attack. The call, placed to 911, described a 13-month-old child attacked by a “mixed-breed family dog and severely injured.” According to the LASPCA, their officer arrived on the scene and awaited a warrant to enter the property to seize the dog. A second NOHLR officer arrived on the scene in the moments following.
The LASPCA says that once the warrant was obtained, the two NOHLR officers attempted to leash the dog through the backyard fence. Their efforts were unsuccessful, so they then entered the backyard. The officers attempted to leash the dog again, but before a leash could be secured on the dog, one of the officers was attacked.
According to the NOPD, their officers were still in the area when they heard the NOHLR officer screaming for help. That’s when NOPD officers say they entered the yard and witnessed the dog attacking the worker. In response to the attack, an officer fired at the dog once, killing it. The deputy who shot the dog is currently on administrative reassignment while the incident is investigated.
“We are heartbroken that a toddler was killed by a dog attack last night. Our deepest sympathies go out to the grieving family,” says Louisiana SPCA CEO, Ana Zorrilla. ”The Louisiana SPCA places human life and safety first and foremost.”
In a statement from the LASPCA: “Unfortunately, accidents are never completely preventable, but the Louisiana SPCA urges parents and pet owners to teach both their children and pets the best ways to interact with one another. With proper training techniques and behaviors practiced, a significant portion of bite cases can be avoided.”
The NOPD and the NOHLR are actively investigating this tragic incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact the NOPD at (504) 821-2222 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 or toll-free at 1-877-903-7867.