Dogs euthanized after 8-week-old boy mauled to death

HOUSTON -- A tragedy is unfolding on Houston's north side, where an 8-week-old baby boy is dead after being mauled by the family pets.

Police said the baby boy, later identified as Michael James Obergas, was in his bassinet when his parents stepped away momentarily. That's when the family's dogs, a giant schnauzer mix and a Labrador retriever mix, apparently attacked. The baby was mauled mainly in his torso area.

The parents called 911, but the little boy's life could not be saved.

"I just broke down when I heard about the baby, I didn't expect that," said neighbor Maria Medina, who saw the ambulance take the little baby away. "It was, I have no words for it, it was really bad."

The dogs, both named Jack, were quarantined by BARC, Houston's animal control agency. On Sunday, Michael's father officially turned over the dogs to animal control officers. The dogs were euthanized and will be tested for rabies.

Dr. Hallie Ray Moore, who owns the Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital, says even longtime family pets can react badly when a new baby is brought into the home.

"You should never ever leave the baby alone in the presence of a dog," Moore said. "However, it doesn't sound like that was even done in this case. This is just worst-case scenario."

Moore said she believes this case appears to be a tragic accident. HPD's homicide division is investigating the case, as is standard for all deaths involving babies.

The parents of baby Michael were questioned and released. The investigation is continuing at this time.
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