Toddler killed by dogs, grandmother charged

Sandra Adams (Hartwell Police Dept.)

HARTWELL, GA (WSPA) – A grandmother is charged with murder after her grandson was attacked by dogs.

Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis said the 21-month-old was “brutally mauled” by two pit bulls at his grandmother’s home.

Chief Davis said police received a report that a bitten child was at an urgent care center, but found a more serious situation when they arrived there Tuesday afternoon. Chief Davis said the child had several bites and tears to his head and neck.

Authorities say the boy’s grandmother, 70-year-old Sandra Bowers Adams, has been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to children and involuntary manslaughter. She was released from jail Wednesday on a $50,000 bond.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said in a news release that Sandra Adams was babysitting the child when he was attacked as they tried entering her home on Highland Avenue.

Investigators say Adams was knocked to the ground before the dogs attacked the boy and that she tried to shield him and pull the dogs away from the child. She eventually managed to get the dogs back inside the home and took her grandson – along with the boy’s mom – to a nearby urgent care center where the GBI says he was pronounced dead at 3:36 p.m. Tuesday.

Chief Davis told 7News that police had not received complaints about the dogs being aggressive in the past and only had complaints about barking. However, the GBI said in its release that information indicates that Sandra Adams had been cited multiple times by the Hartwell Police Department for an ordinance maintaining disorderly animals.

The GBI secured the dogs, which were taken to separate kennels for observation and tests.

Adams consented to euthanize the dogs. They will be put down sometime this week.

Local and state officials continue to investigate the child’s death.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.