When it comes to dangerous situations for little kids, rarely would you ever imagine that a puppy, or four, would pose a risk. But as one family is sharing with the world, their daughter sustained gruesome injuries as a result.
According to reports, a 2-year-old baby girl named Felicity was outside with her family and their four puppies. According to a GoFundMe set up in Felicity’s honor, the family was preparing for a housewarming and birthday party when tragedy struck on June 3.
(Warning: The images in this article are graphic and may be difficult for some to see.)
Parents Share Warning About ‘Littermate Syndrome’ After Toddler Suffers Gruesome Injuries in Puppy Attack
As the GoFundMe, started by Felicity’s mom Sierra Michele Peden continued, they had the puppies for three weeks at that point. Sierra admitted that “they’d never given us any reason to not allow our children to play with them.”
At the time, all four of their children were outside with their father when Sierra went in to take a shower. Sierra went on to explain that after getting out of the shower, she grabbed her things to run an errand.
Two of their kids were inside on the couch when Sierra left, she assumed her other two were with their father outside. That’s when she got on the phone with her husband to make sure he knew the game plan.
“I told him I was leaving and that I should be gone for 3 hours since it’s an hour to the closest Dollar Tree in Bakersfield from Onyx, CA. I told him where the kids were and asked ‘You have Felicity, right?’ He said ‘No, I think she followed everyone inside, I don’t see her.’”
As Sierra explained, they have half an acre for a backyard with 3 sheds, a chicken coup, and trees. “I told him I would call Samantha to make sure she was with her then we hung up.”
“Just as I went to call my daughter she was calling me. All I heard was ‘dad…fel… bleeding.. hospital.’ She was breaking up because the reception was spotty. My heart sank to my butt. My friend flipped a U-turn, my daughter was on speakerphone and we were trying to make out what she was saying when the call dropped. As we flipped the U-turn I saw our van racing down the road and my husband waving us to follow. I called him, and he said, ‘I think Felicity’s missing an eye! I found her unconscious laying under the peach tree! Call 911!’ I called 911 and asked for a police escort.”
Felicity sustained brutal injuries in the attack. “They ate her ear and mutilated her face, neck, and mainly upper body.” Sierra added that the “status of her left eye is still unknown.”
Felicity was airlifted to Fresno Children’s Hospital where she underwent 3-hours of plastic surgery. She is now in recovery and doing so “beautifully,” her mom reports.
While the “nightmare isn’t over yet,” and Felicity still has a long road ahead of her, Sierra is spending her time spreading awareness about “Littermate Syndrome.”
According to K9 Behavioral Services, littermate syndrome is also known as sibling aggression or littermate aggression. These are “non-scientific anecdotal terms that refer to a whole host of behavioral issues that tend to present when canine siblings (Littermates) are raised in the same household beyond the normal 8 to 10 weeks of age when puppies are usually placed in homes.”
According to the Behavioral Services website, littermate syndrome can also occur when any two puppies share the same home and are two close in age. Trainers advise against getting two puppies within six months of one another.
Sadly, this syndrome can affect any breed at any time, causing aggressive behaviors in dogs that aren’t known for being aggressive. And because littermate syndrome is not well-known by many, Sierra and her family hope to spread awareness to other families so they don’t have to endure the tragedy they are currently facing.
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In an update on the GoFundMe, Sierra revealed that the puppies have been signed over to Animal Control. We are rooting Felicity on as she continues to recover.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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