A 4-year-old boy is dead after a group of dogs reportedly attacked him Wednesday in Southwest Miami-Dade County, according to Miami-Dade Police.
The body of Javon Dade, Jr., was found on a property located in the 12300 block of Southwest 230th Street, Miami-Dade Police said.
According to police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard, the incident began when a missing persons report for the child was filed around 10 a.m. After a quick search, officers found the boy's body in the gated yard of the house where he was staying.
“It appears at this time that it is some kind of an attack by dogs,” Pinkard said.
Footage showed a yellow tarp on the grass, a teddy bear nearby, and some distraught people at the scene. Animal Services workers also took six dogs from the scene, Pinkard said. There were a total of three adult dogs and three puppies at the home.
It's unclear how many dogs attacked the boy.
Police haven’t said how the child was able to get outside of the home and to the location where the animals were kept.
NBC 6 spoke with the owner of the home, Kenneth Narbin, who said he gave the renters seven days to remove what he called “pit bull dogs from the home.”
The pit bull breed is illegal in Miami-Dade County, but legal in Broward County.
Neighbors told NBC 6 that the neighborhood in general has a problem with dangerous dogs.
“I got three kids that live here and even scared for them to get on the bus because there has always been dog problems here,’ said neighbor Araceli Mendoza.
The dogs were taken to Miami-Dade Animal Control who said only one of the dogs was a pit bull. The rest were mixed breeds. Animal Control workers are now trying to determine which of the animals attacked Javon.
“Through DNA evidence and other DNA evidence that we’ve been able to gather, we’ll be able to determine which dogs were involved in the attack,” said Kathy Labrada of Miami-Dade Animal Control.
And while pit bulls are often associated with aggression, Miami veterinarian Dr. Ian Kupkee said no one breed is more aggressive than the other. He advises parents to socialize their children with their pets and watch for any warning signs because a child’s behavior can unknowingly set a dog off.
“Children scream, a dog is going to perceive that as perhaps a threat,” said Dr. Kupkee. “Always watch a dog and child interact with supervision."