Grandmother charged with murder after dogs fatally maul toddler

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HARTWELL, GA (WSPA) – A grandmother is charged with murder after her grandson was attacked by dogs.

Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis said the boy, who was just less than two years old, was “brutally mauled” by two pit bulls at his grandmother’s home.

Chief Davis said police received a report that a bitten child was at an urgent care center, but found a more serious situation when they arrived there Tuesday afternoon. Chief Davis said the child had several bites and tears to his head and neck. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the boy was 20 months old.

Authorities say the boy’s grandmother, 70-year-old Sandra Bowers Adams, has been charged with second-degree murder, cruelty to children and involuntary manslaughter.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that Sandra Adams was babysitting the child when he was attacked as they tried entering her home on Highland Avenue.

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland says the child lived at the home with the dogs.

Investigators say Adams and the boy had been outside, but that when they tried to re-enter the home, she was knocked to the ground before the dogs attacked the boy. She tried to shield him and pull the dogs away from the child, authorities said. She eventually managed to get the dogs back inside the home and took her grandson – along with the boy’s mom – to a nearby urgent care center where the GBI says he was pronounced dead at 3:36 p.m. Tuesday.

Cleveland says the dogs will be observed for the next 24 to 48 hours before being euthanized.

Chief Davis told WSPA that police had not received complaints about the dogs being aggressive in the past and only had complaints about barking. However, the GBI said in its release that information indicates that Sandra Adams had been cited multiple times by the Hartwell Police Department for violating an ordinance that bars maintaining disorderly animals.

Local and state officials continue to investigate the child’s death.

An autopsy of the victim is planned.

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