How to stop a dog attack: Vet offers lifesaving tip after 1-year-old baby girl killed by family dog

Following the death of 1-year-old Triniti Harrell, who died last week following a brutal mauling by a pit bull mix in North Carolina, a veterinarian has offered advice on an intervention that could save a life.

Speaking with “Inside Edition,” Veterinarian Brett Levitzke revealed a way that he says may help cause a dog to release its grasp when you or someone you know is under attack.

“If you pick them up by the hind legs, they’re off balance…their first reaction may be to let go and then turn around,” Levitzke said on the television show.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Triniti’s death was announced last Monday, a week after the October 22 attack on the girl by the family’s pet pit bull mix. She was reportedly playing outside alongside her mother, Miranda Harrell, when the canine got ahold of her and clenched its jaws down—refusing to let the baby girl go.

In a heartbreaking 911 call, Triniti’s mother can be heard screaming desperately for help, with the operator trying his best to give instructions that may lead to the dog letting the baby out of its grasp.

“Help me, she’s dying, please help!,” Miranda states. “He won’t stop!”

“Find something and hit him with it,” the 911 operator replies.

“I’m hitting him as hard as I can, help me!,” the mother says.

The dispatcher then asks Miranda if she can grab a knife, and instructs her to stab the dog in the neck. But the baby’s mother says the knife is too dull, and the dog did not release the girl even after Miranda tried to cut its throat.

A responding officer eventually shot the pitbull mix twice.

The website Animals 24-7 also offers tips for intervening in a violent dog attack. 

While the site states that “a firearm has an 80% success rate in stopping a charging pit bull,” it also notes that shooting a dog “high rate of accidentally killing or injuring” innocent bystanders.

“A fire extinguisher has about a 70% success rate, with no risk to bystanders,” the advice on the website reads. “A bite stick can be used by an experienced person, or anyone who has an appropriate object to use as a bite stick and keeps his or her head.”

The website discourages the use of knives.

“Knives and blunt instruments have negative success rates, meaning that the people using them are more likely to increase the severity of an attack than to help themselves or others get away.”

[Feature photo: Triniti Harrell/family handout]