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11-year-old who saved six-year-old sister from dog attack feels constant guilt over not doing more

An 11-year-old girl who risked her life to save her six-year-old sister from a nasty dog attack has been branded a ‘hero’ — however, her mom said she still feels constant guilt over not doing more to stop the disturbing event.

Stay at home mom, Shalaye Newman, 31, from Glenwood, Hawaii, said her three young daughters — Violet, six, Layla, 11, and Faith, 15 — were walking home from the bus stop (which is approximately a half mile from their home) on November 5, 2021, when two pit bulls, who had been trained to attack by their owners, accidentally got loose and mauled little Violet.

The vicious animals bit her in the eye and the neck — forcing her to lose 40 per cent of her vision.

Her brave older sister Layla quickly jumped in and ultimately saved her life — pulling Violet away from the out of control animals — while Faith ran and got help.

An 11-year-old girl who risked her life to save her six-year-old sister (pictured) from a nasty dog attack still feels constant guilt over not doing more to stop the disturbing event

Violet (center), six, Layla (left), 11, and Faith (right), 15 were walking home from the bus when two pit bulls, who had been trained to attack by their owners, got loose and mauled Violet

Violet (center), six, Layla (left), 11, and Faith (right), 15 were walking home from the bus when two pit bulls, who had been trained to attack by their owners, got loose and mauled Violet

The vicious animals bit her in the eye and the neck - forcing her to lose 40 per cent of her vision. She is pictured before the attack

The vicious animals bit her in the eye and the neck – forcing her to lose 40 per cent of her vision. She is pictured before the attack

Now, according to their mom, all three girls are traumatized from the horrifying incident — with both sisters feeling immense guilt over the pain Violet has had to go through.

They all suffer from nightmares from it, and Violet is so terrified of dogs now that they had to give away their own pup. 

‘Stray dogs are a continuing problem in Hawaii, as the rules of owning and training a dog to attack are very loose,’ said Shalaye.

‘This is not the first incident that has happened in our neighborhood, however, Violet’s is the worst case I have personally seen.

‘On the day of the incident, the girls had been walking home when the two pit bulls who had been trained to attack got loose and attacked Violet.

‘I don’t blame the dogs, they were doing what they had been trained to do, they didn’t know any better.

‘I reached the scene when my eldest Faith came running to get me and told me what had happened.

‘I reached Violet 15 minutes after she had been attacked. She and Layla were still there and no one had even called an ambulance.

‘It was the first thing I did and of course the police as well, the poor dogs were put down and an investigation has been launched on the owners as well.

‘Violet will be fine physically, it is the mental trauma of this incident that will remain with her, it will remain with all of us.

Her brave older sister Layla quickly jumped in and ultimately saved her life - pulling Violet away from the out of control animals - while Faith ran and got help

Her brave older sister Layla quickly jumped in and ultimately saved her life – pulling Violet away from the out of control animals – while Faith ran and got help

Now, according to their mom, Shalaye Newman, the girls are traumatized from the horrifying incident - with both sisters feeling immense guilt over the pain Violet has had to go through

Now, according to their mom, Shalaye Newman, the girls are traumatized from the horrifying incident – with both sisters feeling immense guilt over the pain Violet has had to go through

‘We cannot contend with the fact that it was the youngest and most innocent and vulnerable one of us attacked in such a vicious manner.

‘The girls feel guilty, they think they let their sister down and for myself, I nearly lost my child.

‘She could lose her eye and has a bite on her neck and if it was an inch to the side the pit bull could have ripped my daughters neck out.

‘We have had to give up our dogs, we had two half pi tbulls, because Violet is terrified of them.

‘She can’t sleep, she can’t walk by that house, she can’t cross a dog in the street without panicking.’

Shalaye has issued a police complaint against the pit bull owners and is fighting the Hawaii legislature on dangerous dog ownership.

‘I have filed a report with the police against the pit bull owners as the dogs were not at fault, they were doing what they were trained to,’ she explained.

‘It was the owners that trained them to be vicious and then lost control of them so much they attacked my child.

‘And all they have received so far is a misdemeanor charge and a slap on the wrist. 

They all suffer from nightmares from it, and Violet is so terrified of dogs now that they had to give away their own pup

They all suffer from nightmares from it, and Violet is so terrified of dogs now that they had to give away their own pup

Shalaye has issued a police complaint against the pit bull owners. She is pictured with Violet before the attack

She is also fighting the Hawaii legislature on dangerous dog ownership. She is pictured with Violet before the attack

Shalaye has issued a police complaint against the pit bull owners and is fighting the Hawaii legislature on dangerous dog ownership. She is pictured with Violet before the attack

‘Whereas I could have lost my child, my daughters could have lost their little sister in front of them.

‘A part of the problem is that owning dangerous dog breeds in Hawaii is very easy, and accessible by anyone.

 ‘There need to be stricter checks on the kind of people who can own dangerous dog breeds and what they are teaching them.

‘Here punching a dog is a serious offense, you can go to jail for that. But training a dog to attack, and they ended up attacking a child is just a misdemeanor.’

Shalaye has also started a fundraiser to help with the funds for Violet’s recovery and has been overwhelmed by the response she has received.

‘People have given so much, we wanted to raise $20,000 and we are now at $11,500.

‘The response from the community has been overwhelming, people have been so supportive and giving.

‘This money is for the treatments Violet has left, and therapy that the entire family will be undergoing to work through this trauma.

‘Some of it will be used to fight the cause of dangerous dog owners and we are also in the process of shifting as having to see the house every day is very hurtful for Violet’s mental health.’

Do pit bulls have a tendency to turn on their owners?

  • Colorado Injury Law reports that across the United States, there are more than 4.5 million dog bites that occur each year 
  • From 2010 to June 2021, there were 430 fatal dog bites, with 185 of those coming from pit bulls, and another 41 that were pit bull mixes 
  • Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks, according to Animals 24-7 
  • Colleen Lynn, president and founder of DogsBite.org, said that pit bulls are dangerous because violence is in their DNA: ‘Pit bulls were specifically bred with incredible aggression and fight’
  • Outward Hound, on the other hand, reported that a peer-reviewed study analyzing 10-years of dog bite-related fatalities concluded that breed was not a factor associated with bite incidents and that ‘pit bull-type dogs have continued to be unfairly targeted’
  • Thomas Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, and Helen Keller are amongst the famous faces in history who owned pit bulls 

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