How to prevent dog bites after 5-year-old attacked by neighbor's dog

Published: Aug. 30, 2018 at 5:45 PM EDT
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The La Porte County Animal Control office is looking into a dog attack case involving a Pit Bull that left a five-year-old girl severely injured earlier this week.

The attack happened Monday around 8 a.m. CST in the 3000 block of East U.S. 20.

According to a police report, the girl goes to her neighbor's home along U.S. 20 every day before school and her neighbor helps her get on the bus.

On Monday the neighbor called the girl's mother after she had dropped her off and said that one of her dogs had bitten her. The five-year-old was then rushed into the emergency room.

The La Porte County Sheriff's Department said the girl has many bites on both of her legs and her right arm. The injuries were so severe the child had to be airlifted to a hospital in Chicago. We have no word on whether or not she is still in the hospital.

Both the neighbors and family of the girl are very shaken by what happened and said in a police report that this was "out of the ordinary" for their dogs.

“A good note on this one, nothing previous was reported on this dog, it just was an unfortunate situation," said animal control officer Christy Satoski. "The dog is vaccinated for rabies which is a plus.”

For now the dog that bit the girl is in quarantine at home because it was vaccinated. After 10 days animal control will follow up with the owner to make sure the dog isn't sick or didn't have any changes in behavior.

By law in Indiana, a bite report must be filed if your animal bites someone.

According to La Porte Animal Control, the hardest thing about adoption is you don't always know the dog's history. That can be a problem with any dog breed.

Their biggest advice is to use common sense. Any animal of any breed has the capability of biting and hurting you.

“If a dog is coming at you and barking at you, you need to stay away," Satoski said. "Don’t run away from the animal just kind of slowly back up. You don’t want to make any sudden kind of movements. Cats can do the same exact thing. If she’s got her ears pinned back and she’s hissing at you, don’t go up to it.”

La Porte County Animal Control said it’s best to approach with your hand first and not your face, which can be more difficult for kids.

“They’re at the height of the animals and they’re right at face level so if an animal looks like it’s not friendly, don’t go up to it please," Satoski said.

The best way you can protect you or your family is by learning more about the breed of your animal.

“Follow up on your breeds," Satoski said. "Do research on your dog. It doesn’t matter what breed it is just do your research. Find out as much information if it’s not from a shelter on the parents and use your common sense.”

La Porte County Animal Control said it has no problem going out and teaching children in the community about how to be safe around animals.

If you have a group of children you would like to have learn about animal safety, call the office at 219-326-1637.