From the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch:
A baby girl was killed by the family dogs yesterday morning while her father slept on the couch in their West Side condo, Columbus police said.
Mia Gibson, who would have turned 3 months old this week, was pronounced dead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at 7:45 a.m., after she was taken there from her home at 1467 Lake Shore Dr. Apt. C, police records show.
Mia was on the couch with her father, who was asleep, when she apparently fell from the couch and the dogs caused injuries that led to her death, said Sgt. Steven Little, of the first-shift homicide squad.
Little said the dogs — both Shiba Inus — didn’t attack the baby, but rather appeared to be playing roughly with her.
Little said it appears as if the death was caused by the dogs, although the baby had no major trauma visible. She did have several small puncture wounds on her body, he said. The Franklin County coroner will conduct an autopsy to determine what caused Mia’s death.
“It looks like the dogs were probably playing with the baby, thinking she was a toy,” Little said.
The dogs have been taken by animal control, Little said. Shiba Inus are a Japanese hunting dog and range in size from 17 to 23 pounds.
Mia’s mother, Sabrena L. Gibson, 34, was in her bedroom when one of the dogs at the bedroom door woke her, Little said. She went into the living room and found her daughter injured. Mia’s father, Chris Kusumi, 33, told detectives he had slept through it all.
Little said detectives spoke to both parents and will not charge them. The case will be forwarded to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office to further decide whether there should be charges.
“It’s just an unfortunate situation, and it’s a sad situation for the family,” Little said.
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble here, but “playing roughly” sounds to me more like the shibas were engaged in predatory behavior toward the baby.
When dogs are hunting, they enjoy it so much that they do look like they are playing, but they are not.
Miley always looks like she is playing with the ducks, and then a duck winds up with a gash in it!
Shiba inus are primitive, dingo-like dogs from Japan– and there are maybe a half-dozen or more breeds that are very similar to them (which I cannot keep straight). Throughout Japan’s history, there have been times when the ancestors of these dogs lived a sort of feral existence.
They are sort of Japanese dingoes.
And we all know what dingoes do to babies!
It’s not that all shiba inus would do such a thing. Indeed, dogs often don’t recognize babies as people, which leads to predation.
The last time this blog discussed this issue didn’t involve a primitive dog at all. It was a golden retriever cross in South Carolina.
Now, I had a dog babysitter when I was small*. It was a hunting dog– a beagle to be more specific– so I’m cautious about saying what a dog can’t or won’t do to a baby.
But it would be better to err or the side of caution.
You just don’t know.
*Now you know what is wrong with me!