“She was the light in all our lives,” the girl's mother said as she grieved the loss of her daughter.
Sadie Davila, 7, was playing in the yard on January 6 when a neighbor's pit bull terrier strayed onto their property, according to a report by the East Baton Rouge Sherrif's Office. According to the report, despite a relative's attempts to stop the attack by beating the dog with a cane, the dog "viciously attacked" Sadie and continued to maul her.
Sadie, a first-grader, was taken to a hospital where staff members shared that the child “suffered many dog bites to her face and considerable damage to her skull, ultimately ending in her death.”
The authorities later detained the dog owner, who is now being charged with negligent homicide after failing to restrain his dog. East Baton Rouge resident Erick Lopez, 20, told authorities his dog frequently ran loose through the next property where the child was bitten, per CNN. Lopez admitted to not being present during the attack and he was arrested and booked into the Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
“Nothing will be the same” following Sadie's passing, her mother Haley Anselmo told CNN. “She was the light in all our lives,” Anselmo said. “She thought more about others' needs before her own. She had a big imagination and so much spunk. She wanted everyone to be happy. She was my mini-me.”
“This is an awful, heartbreaking tragedy,” East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement on Facebook. “My heart goes out to this family, and they will remain in my prayers.”
EBRSO was contacted by EMS and the St. George Fire department on the evening of the attack, and EBRSO homicide is currently investigating the case. Animal control officials captured the dog, whom they found with blood around his face and mouth. It is unclear what will happen to the dog.
East Baton Rouge Parish School System published a statement honoring Sadie, who went to Woodlawn Elementary School. The statement read, “This news is devastating to our entire school community, as young Sadie was blossoming in the dawn of her life and education with so much promise awaiting her. It is difficult to comprehend the enormous pain and remorse her family and friends are experiencing in the wake of this tragedy.”
Sadie’s teacher, Grace Feucht says she's heartbroken, describing Sadie as a student who has made an impact on her life. “Sadie was fierce and spunky, but she was also tender-hearted and kind,” Feucht reflected. “She brought energy and joy into my class every single time she stepped in the door. She was fearless and would sing her heart out in front of her classmates. She was a gift to me and made me smile and laugh many times. I sadly expect our classroom to feel considerably emptier Monday without her precious presence. I am so grateful to have had the honor of teaching her.”
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Haley Anselmo