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Police release name of toddler killed by family dog

By Staff | Dec 22, 2009

A Cape Coral toddler died this morning after being severely bitten by one of the family’s dogs.
Cape police, fire and EMS responded to a 911 call at 7:41 a.m. about a boy bitten with injuries at 235 S.E. 45th Terrace. Liam Perk, 2, had been bitten in the neck area by the family’s 8-year-old male Weimaraner, officials reported.
Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the Cape Coral Police Department, said EMS transported the boy to Cape Coral Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:29 a.m. The State Medical Examiner’s Office has taken jurisdiction of the case.
Lee County Animal Services removed the dog from the home, along with a female Weimaraner. Adam Leath, chief of animal services, said because the dogs were removed one “could assume the owners were not home.”
“We were also asked by the Cape Coral Police Department to secure the scene,” he said. “Animals would impede them in doing their investigation.”
Whether the male dog would be euthanized was unclear this afternoon.
“We’re really waiting for the outcome of the investigation with the Cape Coral Police Department,” Leath said. “It really depends after speaking with the family.
“We’re waiting to get in contact with the owners and get a final disposition from them,” he added.
Officials also are waiting to talk to all the parties involved before deciding what to do with the female Weimaraner.
“We’re trying to give the family time to deal with the situation,” Leath said. “We’re looking out for the best interests of everyone involved.”
According to Leath, a Weimaraner is “a sporting breed of dog that works in agility.” Employed with the county for more than three years, he said this is the first fatal dog attack that he is aware of.
“The is the first fatality that I can recall,” Leath said.
Lee County Animal Services generally responds to between two and six animal bites a day throughout Lee. Some of the animals involved are owned by people and some are strays, he said. The department works with the Department of Health to quarantine those animals.
“We encourage everyone to exercise due caution and make sure animals are well supervised,” Leath said. “I’m not sure if this played into this event or not, but our recommendation is to make sure all animals are supervised.”
The family has requested that the media grant them privacy as they grieve the loss of their son.