Brooksville – Little Declin Moss loved to play outdoors. At just 18-months-old, he frolicked around the yard and enjoyed being outside in his rural Brooksville neighborhood.
That’s where the toddler was Monday morning alongside the family dogs, Max and Thumper. Neighbors tell 8 On Your Side the pets were pit bulls, and that all of a sudden, Declin was in danger.
Charles Shorey cried as he described the toddler, “He was a beautiful kid. I feel sorry for the mother. She’s, she’s fighting and struggling.”
The toddler’s grandfather ran outside and witnessed a horrifying sight around 11 a.m. – two snarling, barking dogs mauling his grandson.
The dogs wouldn’t let go of each other or the baby.
The grandfather called 911, but it was too late. Little Declin was gone.
“I’m going to let her know that I’m here for her, if she needs anything,” said Shorey, wiping away tears.
Shorey admits that while the dogs never hurt any children or adults, the pets were dangerous to other animals. In fact, he told News Channel 8 that Max and Thumper have killed smaller dogs in the past.
“It is a terrible, terrible event today. Obviously, even those of us who work with death and dying and serious injury, the firefighters on scene were heartbroken,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
We asked the Sheriff if deputies had ever been called out to the address before for a dangerous dog complaint. The answer was no. Detectives are doing a thorough investigation to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
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