A 3-year-old girl was attacked and killed by her family's pit bull on Monday.
Braelynn Rayne Coulter of High Point, N.C., was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to her wounds, WFMY reports.
Coulter's mom tried to save her daughter, but the dog, who is now at an animal shelter, attacked the mother as well.
The toddler's family released a statement to the station:
Braelynn Rayne Coulter was a beautiful, lively three year old young lady. She was full of life. She was the light of her mama and gaga's life and the loss leaves a hole in our hearts. She was smart and vivacious and absolutely loved Dora the Explorer. She enjoyed her time in nature and going to a park was the highlight of her day. She will be missed dearly! Heaven is a little prettier today with Braelynn there!
The family said their pet had never been aggressive before.
But a neighbor told the News & Record that, months ago, the pit bull had broken out of a fence and attacked another neighbor's dog.
“The neighbor was taking her dog for a walk,” Katherine Dixon said. “Another neighbor came out to help. That’s what put us on high alert about the dogs.”
The dog that killed Coulter will be held at the Guilford County Animal Shelter for the next few days until police finish their investigation and determine the pit bull's fate, according to WGHP.
Pit bull advocates have argued that the breed isn't necessarily prone to violence, but rather, the dogs are sought after disproportionately by bad owners who train them to be aggressive and vicious.