No charges in Lee County, Va., wolf-hybrid mauling death


LEE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – No charges will be filed in the case of an 8-day-old baby killed by a Malamute/wolf-hybrid in Lee County, Va., according to the commonwealth’s attorney.

H. Fuller Cridlin, commonwealth’s attorney for Lee County, said in a news release Wednesday that after reviewing the case, that the the incident was “simply a horrific tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the child that died.”

Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons previously told WJHL the family dog that mauled and killed the baby was euthanized.   

The attack happened March 7 at a home in the Seminary community of Lee County. 

According to a police report, the parents of the infant heard her crying and when they came into the bedroom they discovered the dog standing over the bassinet.

“The, of course the child, according to the statements was in a bassinet, there was blood in the bassinet where the dog had attacked the child…it was very serious injuries to the upper body, and the head, the child had been seriously mauled by the animal,” Parsons said back in March. 

According to Cridlin’s news release, around noon on March 7 the mother went to prepare lunch in the kitchen but minutes later heard the baby crying. When she returned to the bedroom she found the wolf-hybrid standing over the child.

Cridlin said the dog in question had been a family pet that lived in the home with two young foster children for several months with no prior incidents.  The Wise County Department of Social Services approved the home for placement following a study which revealed no concerns about the dog. In fact, a foster care worker described the dog as “not aggressive” and “very friendly.”

Cridlin said that under Virginia law, no canine or canine crossbreed is considered dangerous solely because of its breed. Ownership of particular breeds is also not prohibited in Virginia.

“The mother’s act of not securely closing the bedroom door while she went to the kitchen to prepare a meal does not indicate the callous disregard for human life necessary for prosecution, particularly when one considers that the dog had previously shown no sings of aggressive behavior to any foster care worker, veterinarian, or the other young children in the home,” Cridlin said in the release.

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