MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Police are trying to determine if criminal charges should be filed after a four-year old boy was mauled to death by dogs in a southwest Miami-Dade yard.
It happened at the boy’s father’s house in Goulds and his six dogs were seized. Using scientific methods, the veterinarians at the county’s Animal Services department are trying to determine which of the three adult dogs, and three puppies, took part in the attack that ended the life of Jovan Dade Jr.
“They are being housed in a secure area in the shelter, in individual cages,” said Luis Salgado with the department. “Our veterinary staff is collecting evidence, DNA, anything we can get from the dogs to assist in the investigation.”
Investigators said Jovan somehow wandered into the backyard and was attacked by one or more of the dogs.
One of adult dogs is a pitbull which is illegal to have in Miami-Dade. The other two adult dogs appear to be bulldog mixes, according to Animal Services and the puppies are too young to be sure of their breed. All six are now evidence and their futures are unclear.
“That will all be determined by the veterinary staff determining the temperament and safety of these dogs,” said Salgado.
Those who knew and loved Javon have sent condolences through social media.
Deirdre wrote to Javon’s grandmother, “Words can not express the pain of your loss as this little handsome angel was your heartbeat. My heart is so heavy as I too mourn your loss.”
Beryl wrote “I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THESE DOGS PITBULLS KILLING OUR BABIES. OH GOD HAVE MERCY SAVE OUR BABIES. WORDS CAN NOT EXPRESS HOW THIS FAMILY FEELS RIGHT NOW.”
Krystle offered this simple message to Javon, “Rip angel!!!! Praying for u boo boo.”
The boy’s family has not yet spoken publicly about the tragedy.
In addition to the police and animal services investigations, the Department of Children and Families is also looking into this case. They say they have a history with with this family.
Miami-Dade police said the dog owner was cited this morning for acquisition or keeping of a pit bull dog and failure to vaccinate against rabies and license the adult dogs on the property. The six citations amount to $1,040 in penalties.