Authorities arrested and charged Michael Gordon, 23, with felony involuntary manslaughter for a dog attack that left a young girl dead in January, according to the Charlotte Observer. Gordon’s two pit bulls mauled five-year-old Makayla Woodard to death on January 12.
The dog attack occurred at approximately 11 a.m. in Gordon’s back yard. Makayla was walking through Gordon’s back yard to access a pen to play with her own dogs when Gordon’s dogs attacked her.
Makayla’s grandmother, Nancy Presson, 67, tried to pull the dogs off the young girl. The dogs also attacked Presson. Presson suffered dog bites and scratches on her arms and shoulders, and Makayla died en route to the hospital.
When local Waxhaw, North Carolina officers arrived on the scene, they pulled the dogs off Makayla and Presson. One of the dogs went back to attack the young girl again, forcing officers to shoot it. The other dog ran off and was loose in the neighborhood for a nerve-wracking two hours before police found it and shot it to death.
“She was crossing the yard to get in the pen…and the dogs got her,” said Amy Pyler, Makayla’s cousin. “She was a really good kid. She was just a miracle. She was so smart, and she was loved very much.”
According to neighbors, the dogs had been loose before, and the police had told Gordon to keep them locked up in the past.
“It’s not the dog. It really is the owner—how responsible they are with their pet,” said Sara Enos, founder of the American Pitt Bull Foundation located in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If this dog has issues of getting out to begin with, that’s a huge problem.”