MIAMI - The Department of Children and Families had warned of the "smell and danger" of six "untrained dogs" living in a home three years before a 4-year-old boy was mauled to death in Miami-Dade County, the Miami Herald first reported.
An unidentified caller told the agency that the dogs posed a safety threat for the children in the home in Goulds. When investigators visited the home in 2011, the child's father, Javon Dade, told them the dogs didn't belong to him.
The body of Javon Dade Jr. was found in overgrown grass in the family's back yard after he was reported missing on Aug 13.
According to the 2011 DCF report, when investigators visited the home they said the home and children inside smelled like dog. They also reported dog urine on the floor and said the children were frequently also on the floor.
Investigators said in 2010 two of the dogs got into a fight, and two people inside the home were bitten by the dogs while trying to break it up.
Gilda Ferradaz, the agency's managing director for its southern region, issued a statement to Local 10 News that read in part, "Since the Department's last interaction with Javon's family three years ago, significant changes have been implemented to improve our investigative process.
Among them is training our investigators to analyze a family's entire history, not just the issues that led to the current abuse or neglect investigation. We believe this approach gives investigators the ability to better comprehend a family's issues and assess potential risk factors."
Dade has been fined $1,040 for violating the county's dog ordinance.
One of the dogs -- an adult male pit bull -- was euthanized Friday night, Miami-Dade County Animal Services said. Although it was unclear what role the dog had in the 4-year-old's death, the decision to put the dog down was based on the animal's temperament.
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