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Two young children were hospitalized at Akron Children’s Hospital with serious injuries after they suffered dog bites by three Rottweillers owned by their aunt. Kaitlyn O’Obrien, 22 months and Reagan O’Brien, 3 years, were in critical and serious condition after being medflighted to Akron from MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital.

The children were on a walk with their aunt when the 3 year old started running ahead. The largest Rottweiller, a 180 pound male, ran after her and attacked. The two other Rottweillers, both females, joined the attack, then all three attacked the younger child. The children’s aunt laid her body over top of the young girls to stop the attack. The woman was then mauled by her own dogs. She was listed in fair condition at MedCentral Hospital in Mansfield.

According to the Richland County Dog Warden, family members took the dogs to a veterinarian in Ashland to be euthanized immediately following the attack.

Missy Houghton of the Richland County Humane Society reminded people to be cautious at all times when children and dogs interact. “If you have a large, powerful dog, you have to be careful because you don’t know how they will perceive something,” she said. “As much as we like to think we have domesticated them, and they are extended members of our family, they’re still animals. As with children, you have to provide structure and discipline.”

Richland County Dog Warden Dave Jordan said no charges have been filed at this time, but it is possible that the dog owners could be charged with failing to control a vicious dog and child endangerment. “It’s still early, but this could be a very complex case because it’s family. Worst-case scenario, if one of those girls should die, that opens up a new can of worms. I will be talking with the law director. It all depends on how serious the injuries are.”

Even though the dog owners reported no previous problems with the dogs, Jordan noted that the large male dog “would have been the alpha and the pack leader.”

For more information about the potential legal liability arising from dog bites, contact the Ohio dog bite attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.

Source: Newark Advocate, “Two Ohio children mauled by Rottweilers,” Lou Whitmire and Jami Kinton, October 12, 2012.