3-year-old girl attacked by pit bull in Hemet gets 180 stitches – San Bernardino Sun

A 3-year-old girl attacked by a pit bull in east Hemet over the weekend had to get more than 180 stitches in her face and body, authorities said.

The girl was attacked at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at a residence in the 41000 block of Mayberry Avenue believed to be used as a daycare center, said Riverside County Department of Animal Services Lt. Lesley Huennekens.

Animal control officers who responded found a 2-year-old pit bull mix tethered in the backyard of the residence, she said.

“We are uncertain how she wandered into the backyard and if she was unattended, but we’re convinced that this dog would have killed her if it had not been tethered,” Huennekens said. “It’s horrible what happened to this girl.”

The girl suffered bite wounds to her face, arms and stomach area. She was hospitalized and underwent 180 stitches to her face, and additional stitches in her hip area. She has since been released from the hospital.

An animal services officer described the dog as “powerful and aggressive” during the impound. Even with a control stick in hand, the dog lurched for the officer’s legs, though only managed to get his pants, Huennekens said.

The dog is currently in a secluded kennel at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley. Animal Services will hold the pit bull for ten days, pending a request from the owner to protest the seizure. After that, the dog could be euthanized.

More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States and at least half of those bitten are children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Around 800,000 of those bites require medical attention.

“Its seriousness illustrates the need for all owners of larger dogs to always be extra vigilant in responsible pet ownership when children are present,” said John Welsh, a spokesman for the Riverside County animal services department.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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