Donations have been pouring in to help a family grieving for their 4-year-old daughter who was killed by a pit bull on Tuesday evening.
While spending time with her mother at their Houma, La., apartment, Mia DeRouen was attacked by one of the family’s two pit bulls, WGNO reported. The girl’s mother, Megan Touchet -- who was also hurt but is recovering -- barricaded herself and Mia in a bedroom after the attack, but the girl’s injuries were already too severe.
Mia suffered facial and head injuries and died at Terrebonne General Medical Center, according to WGNO.
The following day, supporters set up an online fundraiser to help the family pay for funeral costs. As of Friday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $32,000.
"My daughter was the most beautiful spirit I've ever known," Mia’s father, Christifer, wrote on the site. "It's beautiful that she's inspired so much kindness."
When police arrived to the scene, which one officer described as "horrific," Mia’s mother passed her daughter to them through a window. Police then entered the apartment to investigate, and shot and killed the dog after it attacked them, WWLTV reported.
Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis called the pit bull a "monster," and said that detectives are investigating rumors that the dog may have been trained to fight, but said that there were no signs of abuse, according to the news outlet.
If the dog is found to have been trained for that purpose, that will likely be a point of note for pit bull advocates.
According to the ASPCA, pit bulls were once considered particularly non-aggressive animals. But, in recent years, they have grown to attract the "worst kind of dog owner -- people who are only interested in these dogs for fighting or protection," the animal organization wrote on its site.
As for helping the mourning family, the community is reaching out for any and all support people can give.
"The only thing we can do at this time is offer prayers, bear our shoulders to lean on, and give forward to help alleviate the costly expenses of this unexpected tragedy," the GoFundMe campaign reads. "Please share with everyone … and never forget to include them in your daily prayers."
Find out how you can support Mia DeRouen's family here.