PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A 5-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital after she was attacked by her neighbor’s dog Sunday evening.
Extended family members tell WAVY News’ Liz Palka the girl was scheduled for surgery as of late Sunday night. A picture shows the child has deep gashes that take up nearly her entire cheek. Her arm was also hurt in the attack.
Witnesses said the incident happened between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Kearney Way in Portsmouth.
Neighbors said the victim and several children were outside playing on their scooters. They said the large dog got out and ran toward the child. Neighbors and family members did not know if the dog was provoked in any way.
Sabrina Harrington said she heard the children screaming so she ran outside. Harrington saw the dog on top of the child, and the dog’s owner and another child were on top of the dog trying to pull it off.
“It could have been my daughter,” said Harrington. “She was standing there playing with them. She watched it. All of the kids. There were five to eight of them out here any given day playing. And most of them were out there.”
Family members told WAVY.com they were frustrated on Sunday evening because they were told animal control did not have someone working this weekend. At first they were told nothing would happen to the dog until Monday morning. Around 9 p.m., animal control responded to the scene. The owner walked the dog out on a leash.
“All we wanted from the jump, from the very get go, was to say that this dog is contained,” said Will Albert, the victim’s uncle. “Lets give you a lock or a chain, and chain this dog up, so we know it’s not going to hurt anybody else; any other kids on this block. And they couldn’t do it for us.”
When the dog was removed from the house, the dog’s owner put the dog in his truck and drove off following animal control. The victim’s family said they had concerns because they had no information. When family members attempted to follow animal control and the dog owner to see where they were going, police appeared to move their police cruisers which blocked the victim’s family from leaving the neighborhood.
Neighbors said they did not have a problem with the dog before. Harrington said it is a young dog, around a year and a half old.
WAVY.com tried calling the dog owners to get their side of the story but could not reach them.
A police officer told the victim’s family that charges are pending.