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Mother: Child's death by family dog didn’t have to happen

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 5/21/2014 7:18 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — Two years after a family dog mauled her toddler son to death, Amy Eskew has to take deep breaths just to talk about the tragedy.

“It’s something I’ve never shared with much of anybody,” she said. “That image, that moment, is the one that sticks with me the most.”

She’s talking about the moment she had to hand her child, Jeremiah Eskew Shahan, over to a coroner. The child was mauled beyond recognition by a dog she says the boys’ father thought was friendly.

Amy says the tragedy could have been prevented.

“I had raised concerns. I wasn’t comfortable with the dog being around my son,” she said. “They reassured me he was gentle. No threat whatsoever.”

The dog — Onion — shocked everyone inside the home when family members say it “snapped.” Amy tells News 3 people forget that animals are animals.

“They are driven by instinct,” she said. “No matter how well you train them, it’s going to react on instinct.”

The U.S. Postal Service delivers the same message this month, saying children are among the most vulnerable.

Postal Carrier Tino Diaz says in 36 years of delivering mail, he’s seen carriers mauled. It’s why he and others now carry mace on their belts.

“As soon as we hear barking, it gives us a clue we have to take precautionary steps,” Diaz said.

The USPS asks dog owners not to open their doors to a delivery person until dogs are restrained.

In severe cases, postal workers carry dog warning cards so each carrier knows where dangerous dogs live.

Even the mildest of dogs, says the mother of Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, can be dangerous.

“Don’t take chances when it comes to kids,” Amy Askew said. “Don’t put faith in something you can’t control.”


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