An American pit bull that mauled a 6-month-old baby to death was kept in a tiny cage by its owner in the U.K.
Bruiser’s owner, 23-year-old Claire Riley cruelly “cooped up” the dog in a cage in her small house after Riley’s partner was sent to prison in July 2014. The couple’s baby, Molly-Mae Wotherspoon, also lived in the house.
The dog was rarely walked, given inadequate water and locked up in an enclosure for hours on end. Three months later, Bruiser escaped his cage in the kitchen, opened the door to the living room, and grabbed baby Molly-Mae’s head while she lay on a changing mat.
The baby’s grandmother, Susan Aucott, was supposed to be watching the baby while Riley was out for the evening.
Bruiser had to be pepper sprayed and euthanized at the time of the incident, reports the Mirror.
Molly-Mae’s injuries included a fractured skull, severe lacerations to the face and bites to all four limbs, according to The Guardian. She died of blood loss at the scene on Oct. 3, 2014.
Riley was sentenced to two years behind bars for owning a dangerous dog and is banned from owning dogs for 10 years. Aucott was given the same term for failing to control the dog.
Bruiser was known to be jealous of the baby, according to court records. He lived in the home with another dog, Pups, who was also kept in a cage.
One vet described Bruiser as “one of the most aggressive dogs she had ever seen.” The breed has been banned in the U.K. since the early 1990s under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Prosecutor James House told the court that Bruiser should not have been left in the house with Aucott, who had been drinking that day.
“He was an aggressive and dangerous dog and should not have been left in the house with a person who could not control him,” said House.
“The attack was sustained. Susan Aucott simply was unable to bring Bruiser under control or remove Molly-Mae from the situation.”
He added, “A canine expert has told us that the sound of Molly-Mae crying would have ignited a killer instinct in Bruiser which would have made him see the child as prey.”
Sources: Mirror, The Guardian / Photo credit: SWNS via Mirror