NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, November 9, 2015, 2:56 PM
Friends and family of a Long Island girl mauled to death by a pit bull are trying to raise money for funeral arrangements and grief counseling, according to a fundraising website.
Little Amiyah Kayla Dunston was remembered Monday as a princess and an angel, a day after the 9-year-old was killed by the dog while she innocently played in a yard with a friend.
“Imagine losing your world,” Amiyah’s aunt, Asia Thomas, wrote, bearing her soul on Facebook. “I don’t blame anyone anymore, God opens eyes to see.”
Amiyah Kayla Dunston was playing with two friends in a fenced-in backyard on Holland Ave. near Murray Hill St. when a pit bull mauled and killed her.
Thomas, who affectionately called the little girl “Mimi,” said she was heartbroken over the prospect of sharing the news with Amiyah’s loving young cousins.
“I just wish I was there and God took me first,” Thomas wrote. “Everyone shared something special with my curly sue. Just wishing I could turn back the time and give my life for you.”
Amiyah’s mother, Mayra Castillo, was inconsolable in her Baldwin home as she met with family and friends to begin the arduous task of making funeral plans for her daughter.
Carlyle Arnold, and the pit bull Kane, are shown in this image from Facebook.
“Amiyah was a phenomenal little girl who has touched many lives with her presence, smile and laughs,” said the girl’s stepfather, Brian Willis.
“We thank you for all your support and prayers.”
Amiyah’s family appealed for help.
“We, the family and friends of Amiyah Kayla Dunston are sadden by the tragic loss of our princess,” an organizer wrote on a GoFundMe page.
“She was a beautiful, smart and loving girl who touched the lives of all who knew her. We are raising money for her funeral arrangements, and potential grief counseling for the family.”
The site set a goal of $ 15,000. More than $ 3,000 had been raised Monday afternoon.
Amiyah was visiting a friend in Elmont, and was playing in the messy backyard when a neighbor’s dog lunged for her Sunday around 10:30 a.m.
A neighbor and the friend’s mother tried to get the dog off her, but the pit bull did not release his death grip until a cop ran in the girl’s direction.
The pit bull, named Kane, darted toward the cop, who squeezed off several shots and killed the dog.
The dog’s owner, Carlyle Arnold, 29, was arrested on an unrelated warrant.
Arnold’s relatives said the dog had been peaceful, and that there were never any complaints about it.
It was unclear why the dog attacked.