Funeral Friday for Infant Fatally Mauled by Dog

Patch readers have strong opinions about whether the dog that mauled and killed 2½-month-old Holden William Garrison should be put down.

A funeral for Holden William Garrison will be held Friday in Springfield Township. (Photo: Coats Funeral Home)
A funeral for Holden William Garrison will be held Friday in Springfield Township. (Photo: Coats Funeral Home)

A dog that fatally mauled a 2½-month-old Springfield Township baby and injured the boy’s father Sunday will be tested for rabies.

A funeral Holden William Garrison will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Coats Funeral Home in Springfield Township, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Memorial contributions may be made to Baby Holden Memorial Fund c/o First Merit Bank, 9749 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, MI 48348.  

» Read the obituary here.

The dog, a Catahoula cattle dog, belongs to the baby’s 18-year-old uncle, who resides with the family. Authorities said the dog tried to jump on the couch, was pushed back, then jumped on the couch again and began attacking the infant in the head and throat area.

The infant’s 26-year-old father, James, was injured while prying open the dog’s jaws.

The story has garnered comments from Patch readers, who say the tragedy illustrates the importance of keeping dogs, especialy territorial breeds, away from young children.

“This is why parents never should leave children unattended with any breed of dog, even for just a second,” reader Paige Marie Harkema posted.

“This is a very territorial breed,” Sandi Hughson wrote. “Obviously, the dog attacked the child because the owner had the baby and pushed the dog away.If the dog had been ‘introduced’ to the child slowly rather then pushed away ,the dog may not have reacted this way.”

She said Catahoula hounds are intelligent, but if they’re not correctly trained, they react out of instinct.

“The dog's instinct is this is a ‘toy or ‘animal’ and wanted it away from the owner,” Hughson wrote. “Also, these dogs can be jealous and did not want his owner to play with another ‘animal.’ By pushing the dog away the dog became aggressive.”

She said the breed has to be trained to live with other animals, and all dogs – even her own Shih Tzu – must be trained to live around small children.

“Should the dog euthanized?” she posted. “Yes. The dog obviously has not been trained properly and cannot be trusted. Too aggressive.”

However, reader Barb Narb  said puttng the dog down is “unacceptable” and the tragedy was not the dog’s fault.

“The baby probably did something to provoke it,” she said, asking others to join her in calling on Oakland County animal control officials to spare the animal’s life.

That comment drew ire from other readers.

“Are you kidding me?” Victoria Slagon Woodside commented. “A 2½-month-old baby did something to provoke it? You have got to be joking.”
Jack Manning June 12, 2014 at 07:48 AM
This particular breed of dog been bred to be a strong hunter and used to hunt Wild Boar. Really a great breed to have around a baby. Like the Pit Bull, something simply snaps in these dogs and they attack other dogs and humans including babies. You will note the father of the baby had to pry the jaws apart to release the infant.....usually by that time a lot of injury has been sustained or as in this case death. As I always say, a good Pit Bull (and now including this Catahoula Cattle Hound) is a dead Pit Bull.
Yvonne Myers June 12, 2014 at 07:49 AM
Put her down. Just for being stupid and ignorant.
Elma Granata June 12, 2014 at 09:41 AM
If a dog attacked me or my family, I would shoot it immediately. No questions asked. The dog is aggressive and does not obey a command to stop so he needs to be put down. He is a walking time bomb.
Maril Zbik June 12, 2014 at 09:48 AM
A responsible owner will insure that ANY dog receives appropriate training and closely supervises ANY dog that is around children. Any tendencies towards possessiveness, jealousy or simply not listening are warnings that a dog will take it to the next level if it feels the need or finds the opportunity. Dogs who are not taught to respect the weak (in this case the child) will take advantage of weakness. Responsible owners also need to realize that height (on the couch) gives a dog added power. A dog like this being allowed on the couch probably also contributed to the attack. Maril Zbik Bark Busters Behaviorist and Master Traine
Elma Granata June 12, 2014 at 10:41 AM
I have a beautiful American Bulldog & love him very much. In my comment I did not specify any breed or malign a breed. I don't care what breed it is. I repeat that if a dog, any dog of any breed whether if be a purebred or a mutt, were to viciously attack me or critically injure any member of my family, it will be the last time because it will be shot immediately. My life and that of my family is worth saving. No questions asked.


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