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This is TRAGIC!!!!

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:28 AM
  • 9 Replies

Eight-year-old Brianna Shanor loved living the past few weeks at the Renda farm in Hanover Township, feeding the chickens, gathering eggs, giving treats to the horses, her mother said Tuesday.

Tara Wood said Bill and Diana Renda had taken in Brianna because Wood had recently lost her job and her rented Beaver Falls home, and didn’t want her only child living on the streets.

Though there were no biological ties between Brianna and the Rendas, Wood said, “They loved that child as much as any grandparents would.”

This past weekend, Brianna took her first and last sled ride on the Renda farm, Wood said. Monday evening, Brianna was mauled by a mixed-breed dog inside an abandoned trailer on the farm.

Wood said she’s not angry with the Rendas. Tears fell as she talked about her daughter’s bright smile, her bubbly personality, all now gone.

“I don’t believe anyone is to blame for this,” Wood said Tuesday. “I can’t blame somebody for what an animal did. They had no control over what happened. I’m grateful to them for taking her in.”

State police said they’re still investigating Brianna’s death and will talk to the Beaver County district attorney’s office to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted.

The Rendas, state police said, were distraught over the little girl’s death, and cooperating with investigators.

State police Sgt. Eric Hermick said the dog involved in the attack, a part-Rottweiler weighing more than 100 pounds, was quarantined by a Lawrence County dog officer and was to be destroyed.

Shortly after Brianna’s death, Hermick said, Renda destroyed two other dogs from the same litter as the dog that attacked the girl.

THE ATTACK

Brianna and Bill Renda had been out on farm property around 6:30 p.m. Monday, state police said, with Renda tending to a chicken coop.

Brianna said she was cold, state police said, so Renda told her she could go back into the house. State police trooper Matthew Roth said that on her path back, Brianna apparently got into some type of confrontation with the dog.

Hermick said Brianna had been instructed previously by the Rendas to stay away from the dog, which was on a chain between 15 and 20 feet long.

Hermick said Renda told state police that the dog had been barking while he and Brianna were outside but then fell silent while he was still at the chicken coop.

Renda went to the trailer to see what was wrong, and found the dog and Brianna in the trailer. Hermick said Brianna may have gone in the trailer. Wood said she found that hard to believe, given that it was dark outside and that Brianna usually stayed away from the dogs.

“She’s the only one who knows what happened,” Wood said. “And that’s something that’ll haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Hermick and Roth said no earlier violent incidents had been reported with the dog. State police were investigating whether the dog was properly licensed and vaccinated.

THE SCHOOL

Michael Bjalobok, superintendent of South Side Area School District, said Tuesday that Brianna had started school there Jan. 6. Wood said the little girl previously attended school in Big Beaver Falls Area School District.

Bjalobok said the day seemed to go smoothly, as counselors were on hand Tuesday to talk to any students.

Bjalobok said many parents already knew about Brianna’s death before their children left for school and were able to talk to them about the tragedy.

Brianna’s school bus driver, Joy McAfee, said several children who usually sat near Brianna on the bus weren’t riding it Tuesday.

“She was all full of fun,” McAfee said of Brianna, who always sat in the second seat on the bus. “Just in a little bit of time, I got real fond of her.”

McAfee said she’d watch as Diana Renda and Brianna played in the snow as the bus arrived.

“She was really a little live wire,” McAfee said. “I pray the Lord will help (family) get through this.”

A MOTHER’S GRIEF

Wood said under better circumstances, she and her daughter would have been living together the last few weeks.

“I wasn’t liking the idea she wasn’t with me at all times,” Wood said. “She was my life.”

But Wood said she’s known the Rendas for a long time and knew that they’d take good care of her daughter. Two people at the Renda farm declined to comment Tuesday morning.

Wood said she visited her daughter often, even staying overnight at the Rendas, while trying to rebuild her life for her and her daughter. Wood said she’s struggling to find a job and is staying with friends. She last saw her daughter Sunday afternoon.

Wood said her daughter was shy around new people, but once she loosened up, “She was a nonstop talker. She was energetic. She was full of life.”

Now, there’s no more talk from Brianna about Hannah Montana, no more impish voice calling Wood “Mamasaurus.”

There’s just one promise that Wood said will remain forever unfulfilled.

“I promised her that Mom would get a job, and we’d be back together real soon.”

Bailey 3-19-01        Emma 3-26-04   Jacob 1-22-08    Tim and I

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:28 AM
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Replies (1-9):
momof3gr8kidz83
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:32 AM

bump

dragonflykiss44
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:34 AM

omg thats so sad.

gypsy_rose
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:35 AM

sad

Callie-bishop
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:37 AM

so sad.




nurseangel44
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:38 AM

sadVery Sad

Kim24kids
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:39 AM

crying


notjstanothrmom
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:44 AM

That's horrible.

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lilmom71
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:47 AM

This so true.  I really feel that dogs have a mind of their own.  I was attacked by a golden retriever when I was 9.  The dog had not eaten that day and the boy was taking him inside.  He was on a leash.  We were walking home from school and we had cut through some yards.  The boy was trying to scare us and kiddingly was telling the dog to sick us.  The leash slipped off his hand and down I went.  I was a rag doll to this dog. His older brother came and pulled the dog off of me.  My biggest mistake was running when I heard the boy tell the dog to sick us.  I really admire the parents attitude and wish there were more people like this in the world.

hevtrighapatmom
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:53 AM

i am so sadden by what i just read. and for the monther and the people that she ewas with. may god be with them in there time of need.

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