According to the National Pet Owners Survey, about 68% of American households have a family pet. They’re usually a dog or a cat, and they bring a lifetime of fun and unconditional love to the families that own them. There is no doubt in the minds of pet owners that having a pet is one of the greatest joys you can have in this world.
Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes, they can be a source of incredible tragedy for a family. They could be run over by a car, they could get into a fight with a neighbor’s pet, and very rarely, they could eat one of your children.
That’s right: Fido could very well be a man-eater disguised as a cuddly-wuddly canine.
It’s not just dogs that sometimes give in to their baser instincts. Some families don’t want to settle for mundane pets like dogs or cats, and instead opt for exotic, and in many cases, highly dangerous animals like lions, tigers, and snakes. Even though most of these animals are illegal to own in many parts of the world, they can all be bought and sold to those willing to skirt the law just a tiny bit, and often with tragic consequences.
Worst of all, these wild animals tend to prey on the weak and the young, making their owner’s children a walking smorgasbord just waiting to be devoured.
Here are 15 times a family pet ate their owner’s kids.
15. Negligent Parents Have Daughter Eaten By Pet Snake
A mother was charged with third-degree murder after the family python escaped its enclosure and strangled her 2-year-old daughter to death.
Pythons don’t normally try to eat people, as we’re somewhat larger prey than they’d find in the wild, but an infant is just the right size for lunch, and mother Jaren Hare had been particularly negligent when it came to feeding the family’s 8.5-foot pet albino python. The snake managed to escape, stalk the baby daughter, and squeeze her to death in typical constrictor style. The family found their baby girl with the snake’s fangs buried in her skull and moments away from slipping down its gullet.
14. Escaped Python Eats Canadian Kids
An escaped African Rock Python owned by exotic pet retailer Jean-Claude Savoie managed to slither its way into his kid’s room where it strangled his son’s best friends.
Aged 5 and 7, the children had all gathered for a sleepover in Savoie’s home adjacent to his pet store in New Brunswick, Canada. Nobody knows how the Rock Python, escaped, all 14 feet of it, but when Savoie woke up the following morning to check on the kids he found little Noah and Connor Barthe strangled to death, and the snake moments away from eating Noah.
“They were sleeping; they didn’t even open their eyes or nothing,” Savoie said in an interview with Canadian press. Authorities investigated, but couldn’t find any criminal negligence on the part of the father.
13. Pack Of Family Dogs Mauls And Eats Son
Just this year, a 4-year-old boy was killed and partially eaten by a pack of family dogs in El Paso, Texas.
Officers found the bitten and bloody body in the backyard of the family’s home back in May. The mother had reportedly left him outside to do some chores in the house when she heard screams and barking from outside. The police were dispatched to find the boy already dead, entrails strewn over the yard, and the mother wailing in anguish.
“It was ugly, as one can imagine,” said one neighbor who witnessed the aftermath. “They were screaming because of what happened. They threw themselves on the ground. He had already passed away. It had already happened and they couldn’t do anything now.”
12. Ferret Eats Baby’s Fingers
It almost seems ludicrous that a pet as small as a ferret could do serious damage to anyone, but one family ferret managed to eat 7 fingers from a 4-month-old baby.
In Grain Valley Missouri, the baby’s mother awoke at 2:30 AM to the screams of her infant and rushed to find their pet ferret nibbling off her baby’s digits. The father then came charging in to kill the infanticidal mustelid, but by then the damage was already done. The child was left with two thumbs and part of her pinkie finger.
11. Toddler Killed By Family Of Pit Bulls
In South Africa, a family’s pair of pit bulls killed their 3-year-old while the mother looked on helplessly.
According to reports, a mother was feeding the family pit bulls in Umlazi, a small town in South Africa, when the dogs pounced and bit her nearby son. They managed to tear chunks from his neck which caused him to bleed out by the time rescue could arrive. Police then came and shot both dogs.
Pit bulls are widely feared for their strength and supposed aggression, but pit bull advocates in the country chalked the attack up to mistreatment by the owners. “Yes, it is extremely sad that the life of a young child is lost to the world and, in the same breath, I am also saddened at yet another savage pit bull story that will be doing the social media rounds,” said Mariana Fernandes, owner of the Pitbull Diary facebook group.
10. Bengal Tiger Fatally Mauls Nephew
It’s never a good idea to own a pet tiger, but it’s especially a bad idea if you also have children.
Ruth Bynum owned a 400-pound Bengal tiger that lived in a caged area in the family’s backyard. One day her 10-year-old nephew was over visiting when the tiger managed to pull him under the fence and inside the cage where he proceeded to maul him to death. The tiger then went about eating the child when the boy’s uncle got a rifle and shot the tiger, but by then it was already too late.
Amazingly, it is not illegal to own a pet tiger in North Carolina, where this story took place. It’s also not illegal to own a tiger in Alabama, Delaware, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
9. Pig In China Eats Toddler
In 2014, father Sun Tsai was hard at work tending to his farm in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province when he decided to go inside for a short break. Little Wei Tsao, two-years-old and known affectionately as Keke, was playing in the garden, totally safe and secure. It seemed like a fine time for a break, and after all, who can be watching their child every second of every day?
That was the last time Sun saw his baby boy. Wei crawled into a nearby pig pen, and an overprotective sow with newborn piglets attacked and killed the infant. Sun returned to a grisly scene with the sow chewing on little Keke’s head. After killing and gutting the sow, fragments of skull and hair were found in the Sow’s stomach.
8. Family Pit Bull Kills And Eats Son In West Virginia
A family mourned the loss of their 6-year-old son back in 2016 when the family pit bull suddenly attacked and killed him.
Little Isaiah’s parents had left him alone with the family dog, named Tiny, while he was playing video games in their living room. Then, without warning, the dog attacked and killed Isaiah, partially consuming parts of his flesh. He was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.
“They were very best friends. The dog was always with the kids,” said aunt Jenni Messer. “We want answers. We don’t have them. We have no idea what happened.” Tiny was later euthanized in police custody.
7. Texas Tiger Eats Son
It’s also not illegal to own a pet tiger in most of Texas, much to one family’s sorrow.
A 3-year-old boy in Lee County, Texas was having his picture taken with the family tiger when the tiger snatched him from the arms of his parents, clamped down on his leg and dragged him into the enclosure where the tiger normally stayed. He then proceeded to maul the boy and begin to consume him. The family charged in with clubs and beat the tiger to death in retaliation, but the boy succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.
6. Texas Tiger Eats Daughter Too
You’d really think after one person gets eaten by a tiger they’d outlaw them as pets, but this is Texas after all. In a state famous for outlawing dildos rather than dangerous animals, Texans love their tigers.
One family lost their daughter after she was visiting her step-father in Yorktown. After entering the tiger’s cage, the 10-year-old was suddenly lunged at by the step-father’s pet tiger that snapped her neck in one chomp. The tiger was busy securing his kill for consumption when the step-father arrived with a shotgun to kill it.
5. Bobcats Are Big Enough to Eat People
It doesn’t have to be a big cat to eat family members. Sometimes it can be a slightly smaller cat, although bobcats are pretty big as far as cats go. You’ll also be unsurprised to learn that this tale of pet ownership gone wrong also comes from the Lone Star State.
A pet bobcat in Dallas Texas mauled and partially ate a family’s 2-year-old son in 1997. His right index finger was consumed as well as part of his heel was chewed off, along with severe bite wounds on the face and neck. The bobcat was later put down while in police custody.
4. Yet More Texas Cats Eating Children
This time it’s not just a tiger that the family kept as pets, but also a lion. Since what could go wrong when you’re keeping nearly a ton of feline death as pets?
A 13-year-old boy was attacked by their grandfather’s pet tiger and lion combo while playing near their cage built into the side of his house. The lion tagged the boy’s shirt and dragged him inside, which was when the lion got in on the action and mauled the boy close to death. The boy’s father then came to his son’s rescue, killing the big cats and managing to get him to hospital. He survived, but not before losing several pounds to the big cats.
3. Pitbull Who Dunnit Confound Family Of Dead Infant
This one is a bit of a mystery, as the family owns 3 pit bulls and says all of them were gentle souls. That didn’t stop their three-week-old daughter from being killed by one of them, but the family doesn’t know which one.
The infant girl was found dead in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She had been bitten in the head with clear bite marks on the rest of her body, but nobody could tell which dog was the perpetrator. All the family’s pit bulls were taken away to be quarantined at a local animal shelter.
2. It’s Not Just Pit Bulls You Have To Be Worried About
Finally, a dog attack that isn’t done by a pit bull. I honestly love pit bulls and think they’re a great breed, and it’s nice to find examples of terrible murder performed by dog breeds that have a better publicist.
An Alaskan Malamute killed a six-day-old girl in South Wales after he was brought home from a local bar mere days before the previous owner had planned to terminate it. The family had recently had a child as well, which was born prematurely.
The distraught mother was then heard by neighbors screaming in the street, “The dog ate my baby’s head.”
1. Three-Day-Old Baby Eaten By Dogs
A newborn girl died in hospital after the family’s dogs mauled and ate parts of her, according to police in Fresno California.
The 33-year-old new mother had just placed her baby on the couch to use the bathroom and returned to see the dogs dragging the baby outside. The dogs then tore into her while the family watched.
Baby Susie was rushed to hospital but died shortly after arrival. Police say that only one of the dogs, which were both shar-pei/pit bull mixes, was described by family as aggressive. Dog experts postulate that the family pets may have interpreted the newborn left on the couch as a wounded animal and left for the pack to consume. The dogs were both euthanized.
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