Family dog kept alive after killing toddler

7:53 AM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA (WXIA 11 Alive) - An 8-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix is being kept alive at the Fulton County animal shelter until it can be tested to help determine if the family dog mauled and killed a toddler at his home Wednesday afternoon.  

Fulton County Police are also waiting for autopsy results on 2-year-old Beau Rutledge to confirm that cause of death.

"Obviously, it's a tragedy," Sgt. Scott McBride told 11 Alive on Thursday.

"We're not looking to charge anyone, but we have to investigate every crime, especially the death of a 2-year-old; we're gonna look at every possible angle," he added.

Meanwhile neighbors in the Wexford town home subdivision near Union City are still trying to deal with what happened.

"It was really a shock, it was strange, you know, my heart goes out to the family because I have a child of my own," said Kendra Clopton.

She was among the first on the scene Wednesday when a neighbor across the street, Angela Rutledge, came out of her home screaming that the dog had killed her son.

Clopton said she never thought of the 8-year-old dog as aggressive.

"The dog was a family dog, so they always had the dog," Clopton told 11 Alive.

"The children was always happy to see the dog when she got home from school, when the baby was there; it was a complete shock, to this community it was a shock," she added.

The dog, which was removed by animal control officers, is now undergoing a series of behavior tests.

Animal control workers have also been affected by what happened.

"My heart goes out to the family and to everybody involved with this horrible tragedy," Animal Services Executive Director Lara Hudson told 11 Alive.

Fulton County Police expect autopsy results as soon as Friday and will hand over their evidence to the District Attorney's office, who will decide what to do with the case.

Meanwhile, police confirm they used a taser-type electronic stun gun on the child's father, Jeremiah Rutledge, when he tried to burst into the crime scene before it had been secured Wednesday afternoon.

They say he was hysterical and tried to push past them at the front and rear doors, at one point telling them to shoot him.

Sgt. McBride said the father was subdued for his and their safety, but will not be charged.

The mother was taken to South Fulton Medical Center by ambulance, "due to suicidal thoughts", according to the police report.

Authorities originally referred to the dog involved as a "Pit Bull", but dropped that description Thursday, referring to it as an "American Staffordshire Terrier mix".

WXIA

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