North Carolina Dog Attack That Killed 7-Year-Old 'Could've Happened to Anyone'

The neighbor of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in a dog attack in North Carolina has said the incident could have happened to anyone.

On Tuesday, the child and her mother were caring for another neighbor's two pitbulls while they were out of town when at least one of the dogs turned on them, according to police. The incident happened in the neighbor's backyard. It is not clear whether one or both dogs attacked the pair.

Broadcaster WRAL-TV revealed the victims' identities as Jayden Belle Henderson and her mother Heather Trevaskis, who has worked at the news outlet for eight years.

Trevaskis was seriously injured in the attack, and suffered multiple bites according to WRAL-TV. Responders took the girl and her mother to WakeMed medical center.

Captain Lorie Smith of the Garner Police Department told Newsweek on Wednesday that the mother was still in the hospital and that she had no information on when she may be released.

James Dixon, a neighbor who was not involved in the incident, told CBS17 he was in "total shock" at the news.

"This is a family friendly neighborhood. People walk all the time. My kids caught the bus right here at this corner. So, it really could've happened to anyone," he said.

"We are here for support. We are praying for you," Dixon said.

According to WRAL, Trevaskis was a master control operator at the TV station. Henderson used to visit the WRAL office on her mother's breaks and play hide-and-seek in the newsroom.

The first grader at Vandora Springs Elementary School leaves behind her younger sister Ryleigh, her father Dave Henderson as well as her mother.

Police told WRAL there were no complaints about the dogs in the past and neighbors said there were no problems with the animals. The dogs were being kept in "bite quarantine" away from other dogs at the Wake County Animal Shelter, before they will be passed to Garner Animal Control to decide their future.

Jennifer Federico, Wake County Animal Services Director, told CBS17 children are the victims of 70 percent of fatal dog attacks.

She said: "Since so many of them are with dogs we know it's making sure we don't let our guards down. It can't be 'well, that breed of dog is bad but this one is fine.' Well, guess what? They all have teeth. They can all bite."

Federico told WRAL: "They're [children are] at the dog's level. They're smaller, and just their natural behaviors of being a kid."

north carolina dog attack pitbull, stock, getty
A stock image shows a pitbull, not involved in the dog attack in North Carolina. Jayden Belle Henderson, 7, was killed in a dog attack on Tuesday.