Warning Preceded Fatal Mauling

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 11:33am

Police had warned pit bull owner to restrain dog weeks before attack killed 5-year-old girl.

The owner of two pit bulls who attacked and killed a 5-year-old North Carolina girl will likely face charges.

When 5-year-old Makayla Woodard left her home Wednesday morning her cousin says she was going to see her dogs in her Waxhaw backyard.

"She was crossing the yard to get in the pen and the dogs got her," said cousin Amy Plyler.

Two of the neighbor's pit bulls pinned her down, biting the Waxhaw elementary student repeatedly in the neck.

Her grandmother, 67-year-old Nancy Presson, was severely bitten in the arm trying to save her.

Police had warned the dogs' owner to keep the animals penned last month.

"We responded out there at Christmas time and warned the owner that he needed to keep the dogs pinned up," Waxhaw Police Chief Michael Eiss said.

"I thought one of the dogs might get hit by a car, but never anything like this," a neighbor said.

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."

Amy Plyler choked up talking about her young cousin.

"She was a good kid," Plyler says. "She loved to play dress up and play in the snow."

Makayla was a kindergartner at Waxhaw Elementary School.

Her grandmother is listed in serious condition at Carolinas Medical Center Union.

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