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KFOX14 Investigates: Report shows dogs in child mauling were underweight, unsocialized

Four dogs who attacked and killed a 4-year-old boy were malnourished and not socialized, report says. 

The dogs that mauled a 4-year-old boy to death last month were starving and unsocialized.

That's according to a report by the City of El Paso Animal Services Center obtained by KFOX14 Investigates.

Four-year-old Jacob Brooks died at his Lower Valley home when his family's four dogs mauled him in their backyard.

Based on the examination of the dogs, dog trainers told KFOX14 Investigates this type of attack is preventable.

We want to warn you -- some of the details of this story might be too graphic for some viewers.

“Don't let your dogs become a pack. That’s just the worst thing you can do,” said Angie Morgan, owner of BarkerHaus Kennels.

According to documents obtained by KFOX14 Investigates, three shepherd mixes and one pit bull mix were euthanized after they attacked and killed Jacob.

Reports from the responding animal control officers and veterinary staff gives insight into the condition of the animals.

All four dogs were under the age of 3 years old, still in a puppy stage.

The report goes on to say one of the dogs was “extremely emaciated with hip bone, spinal bones and shoulder blades prominent, and abdominal completely sunken in."

Another dog, the pit bull named Chloe, “appeared to be underweight and had chronic scars all over her muzzle, front and back legs consistent with fighting."

The report states the 1-year-old shepherd, Memphis, was underweight and "Memphis was extremely un-socialized and did not do well with any handling."

The report goes on to say some of the dogs were skittish and afraid of human contact.

“What that tells you is these dogs aren't part of the family. They're just loose in the backyard,” said Morgan.

Morgan said it's vital to socialize your dog between the age of 4 to 6 months.

Animal Services reports obtained by KFOX14 Investigates noted the dogs had blood on their forearms and snouts.

The most unsocialized dog, Memphis, had the most blood on her.

“(Jacob) was in the trampoline jumping up and down. That triggers the prey drive and so those dogs weren't looking at him as a child, but as a big rabbit. And what do dogs do with rabbits? They eat them,” said Morgan.

According to the reports obtained by KFOX14 Investigates Jacob was already dead when paramedics arrived.

“Being hungry doesn’t help,” said Morgan.

The report shows the family adopted Chloe from Animal Services. In photos provided to KFOX14 Investigates, Chloe didn’t have any scars consistent with fighting prior to being adopted. When she was taken in after the attack, she was covered in scars.

“That pack was biting her,” said Morgan.

According to the report, Chloe did well with human contact.

Morgan said if you have multiple dogs, keep them separate to avoid the pack mentality. Never have more than two together at one time.

“We have multiple dogs. You'll never see all of the dogs in the yard playing -- it's an accident waiting to happen,” said Morgan.

Morgan said to look for warning signs that your dog might be aggressive to your child.

A dog that doesn't lick a child or that stares at a child with ears forward is a red flag.

“If you have a dog that won’t go belly-up to a child, I would never leave that dog alone with a child because that dog is saying, 'you are below me in a pack,'” said Morgan.

Morgan said when your dog is young, push them belly-up to make them submissive.

“The fact that the dogs were underweight, they were unsocialized -- I don’t understand why some people have dogs if they're not going to bring them in their household,” said Morgan.

According to Animal Services, there were two other dogs in the house not involved in the attack that the family also surrendered. According the report, those dogs were also underweight.

El Paso police crimes against persons unit is investigating the attack.

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