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Pit bull that killed 3-year-old in High Point euthanized

Pit bull that killed 3-year-old in High Point euthanized

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HIGH POINT — Officials on Thursday euthanized the dog that killed 3-year-old Braelynn Rayne Coulter.

They sent the dog’s body to Raleigh, where it will be tested for rabies. Officials said the dog bit somebody other than Braelynn on Monday, the day she died. They did not identify that person.

Braelynn’s family called 911 as they rushed her to High Point Regional Hospital just after 5 p.m. Monday. In the 911 call, a man said they were struggling to keep Braelynn breathing after she’d been bitten by a dog.

Braelynn died a short time later.

Neighbors said the pit bull terrier that killed Braelynn was aggressive, and had attacked at least one other dog in the neighborhood.

Braelynn’s family has been unavailable for comment. The family asked the pastor at their church to speak to reporters on Thursday.

“There are questions police need to ask,” said David McGee, the pastor at The Bridge church. “We need to let them do their jobs.”

Police Capt. Tim Ellenberger said he expects the investigation to take up to five more days.

A viewing for Braelynn is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. today at The Bridge, a non-denominational church at 1080 Old Greensboro Road, McGee said. Her funeral will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the church. The family has set up a Facebook page in her memory.

McGee said the family has attended the church for about five years.

“Three-year-olds get in trouble in a hurry,” McGee said. “Usually, it’s something like coloring on the wall or maybe a tumble down the steps. This had tragic, tragic consequences.”

McGee described the dog as a family pet, and said Braelynn had cuddled with it inside the home the day before.

“Some of these people talking about the dog being a crazy mongrel, that’s whacked,” McGee said. “They loved the dog and the dog loved them.”

McGee admitted that he had never discussed the dog with the family before Monday’s tragedy.

He said Braelynn’s death was a reminder of dangers that surround people.

“Cars are awesome ways to travel, but they can be extremely dangerous and a kid can walk out in the street in a moment,” McGee said. “Water’s great fun to play with, but you turn your head and a child can drown in a heartbeat.”

Contact Joe Gamm at (336) 373-7090, and follow @josephgamm on Twitter.

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