No criminal charges filed in dog attack that led to death of 4-year-old girl

An undated courtesy photo of Kiyana McNeal (via WOOD).

SHERMAN TOWNSHIP, MI (WOOD) –- No one will face criminal charges in a dog attack that led to the death of a 4-year-old girl in St. Joseph County, Michigan.

County Prosecutor John McDonough announced his decision Wednesday, saying there was insufficient evidence to file charges in the Oct. 23 mauling that killed Kiyana McNeal.

The attack happened at her family’s home in the 63000 block of W. Fish Lake Road, located in Sherman Township, north of Sturgis.

The girl’s mother told neighbors that Kiyana was training the dog with a treat when it attacked her without warning, grabbing the girl by the neck. Her mother, Jacey McNeal Wolkins, was injured trying to fight off the dog, but has since been released from the hospital.

A YouCaring page set up to cover Kiyana’s funeral expenses said the dog attacked the young girl as its old owner began to leave, but McDonough says it’s unclear what triggered the dog to attack.

“There is absolutely zero evidence to show that this dog had any aggressive tendencies what so ever or that there was anything that the previous owner knew and did not disclose,” McDonough stated.

“If anything this is an incident where a parent turned away for a short period of time, like all parents do and this horrific and tragic event occurred,” he added, extending prayers to everyone involved.

McDonough said the dog, which was turned over to the St. Joseph Animal Control Office, will be euthanized. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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