Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was killed by the family dog at his first birthday party. Family photo.
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan’s first birthday ended in a horrific tragedy when the family’s 120-pound mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, Onion, mauled the baby and killed him.
Around 10 p.m. on Friday, just before the baby was about to be put to bed, he crawled over to pet the 6-year-old dog that he had happily played with all day while opening presents at his grandmother’s house in Henderson, Nevada. The dog suddenly snapped before the boy’s grandmother could pick him up. The dog latched his jaws around the boy’s head and swung him back and forth violently. The grandmother was not able to pull the boy from the dog and Jeremiah’s father heard the grandmother screaming from upstairs.
The boy’s father, 29-year-old Christopher Shahan, who shares custody of Jeremiah with the boy’s mother, came and tried to help.
“I got the dog off the baby,” he said. “I tried to save my baby.”
The boy suffered a broken neck as well as other injuries and was flown to a trauma unit at University Medical center where he died shortly after midnight on Saturday.
After the attack the dog was taken into custody by Animal Control officers who are planning to put him down this week after testing him for rabies.
According to police the boy had lived with the dog since birth and the dog had never previously shown aggressive behavior or suffered any abuse in the past.
The family says they are shattered by the loss of both their son and their dog.
The boy’s father said Jeremiah “was the best thing I’ve ever had in my life. He was the best baby. He always smiled, always.”
The boy’s father had a warning for other families who have both dogs and babies.
“Always be careful,” even if you trust your dog, he said. “I trusted my dog, and now I don’t have a baby or a dog.”
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