By Daniel P. Finney, Des Moines Register
Two dogs attacked and killed a 3-year-old girl Saturday in the Delaware County town of Hopkinton, officials said.
The girl was in a fenced backyard when two Rottweilers attacked her shortly before 6 p.m., Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere said in a news release. Hopkinton's population is 628.
Deputy Travis Hemesath said the house belonged to the girl's grandparents, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. They weren't home and the girl was under the care of an 18-year-old man when she was attacked, he said. The relationship between the girl and the baby sitter wasn't immediately known.
The toddler suffered severe injuries and was rushed to Jones Regional Medical Center in Anamosa by Hopkinton medics. Doctors pronounced the girl dead upon arrival.
The girl's name was not released late Saturday, pending notification of relatives, LeClere said.
The two dogs were euthanized by Delaware County sheriff's deputies. The incident remains under investigation, LeClere said.
According to the American Kennel Club, Rottweilers are generally calm, confident and courageous. But in five of the six years from 2005 to 2010, Rottweilers have ranked second to pit bull-type dogs in fatal attacks on humans.
Rottweilers and German shepherds were each involved in three fatal attacks on humans in 2010, while pit bull-type dogs were blamed in 22 fatalities. Two of the 2010 fatal dog attacks involved small children, one 4 years old and another 8 months old.
Earlier this year, Sirlinda Hayes, 66, died when she was attacked by two Rottweilers in Columbia, S.C.