A three-year-old California girl suffered wounds to her face, arms and abdomen after being mauled in a vicious attack by a pit bull.
The girl, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital after the attack in the backyard of a home in Hemet, Southern California, last weekend and required 180 stitches in her face.
She received additional stitches to her hip but has since been discharged from hospital, Fox11 reported.
The two-year-old male pit bull mix was tied up at the time of the attack. Authorities are certain the dog would have killed the toddler had he been free, Animal Services‘ Lesley Huennekens told Fox11.
“It’s terrible what happened to this girl,” said Hünnekens.
Authorities aren’t sure how the girl got into the backyard or if she was unattended at the time.
news week has reached out to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services for comment.
A Riverside County Sheriff’s Department official, Mick McGee, told Fox11 the dog was strong and aggressive. While visiting the scene of the incident, McGee used a stick to control the animal, but it still viciously pounced on his legs.
The dog was taken in by Riverside County Animal Services after the incident. American pit bulls are considered one of the most vicious dog breeds. The breed, even mixed breeds, are responsible for most of the deaths and injuries in dogs.
According to Fox11, the dog’s owner protested the confiscation of the animal. However, there are no further details about what will happen to the dog The East Bay periods said it could be euthanized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite 4.5 million people in the United States each year.
“Their seriousness shows that all owners of larger dogs need to be extra vigilant at all times when children are around,” Riverside County Animal Services Department spokesman John Welsh said The East Bay Times.
According to a study published by the BMJ, dog bites are a common reason for children to visit the emergency room — more than half of all dog bite victims are children.
Around 26 percent of all child victims need urgent medical attention because of their injuries. Dog bites are an even worse problem for children than mumps, whooping cough and measles, according to the CDC. Dog bites are more common among children than other injuries, such as those sustained in playgrounds or bicycle accidents.
Treating dog bite injuries costs hospitals more than a billion dollars each year. The face, neck and head are the most common areas where children are attacked.