Dog attack sends 7-year-old to hospital

Hearing the sound of a dog bark now frightens 7-year-old Ebony Carter.

She is scarred, both mentally and physically, following a vicious dog attack.

“If I see any dogs I'll just go inside,” Ebony said.

Last Wednesday, she was playing outside in her backyard when her mother heard her screams.

“I hear this death cringing scream,” Miracle Catching explained.

Catching ran immediately out to her daughter and saw her daughter's face was covered in blood.

“All I see is the tissue from her skin hanging out,” Catching said.

Her daughter said she had just been attacked by a dog.

“I was just playing and this dog just showed up out of nowhere and bit me,” Ebony said.

The bite required a hospital visit and nine stitches.

Catching was shaken but not shocked by the incident.

She said stray and loose dogs are a constant issue in her neighborhood.

She can't bear the thought of this dog attacking again.

South Bend Animal Care and Control said they have canvassed the neighborhood looking for the dog.

But when situations like this one occur, they need the public's help.

 “It is very important in cases where a stray dog has come into your yard and either attacked or nipped or bitten, either you or someone you are responsible for, it is critical to at least take note of what the dog looks like. Try to remember any description possible,” Shelter Manager Matt Harmon explained.

Animal Care and Control also urges pet owners to do their part.

Starting, by getting their pet spayed or neutered.

It is something they say is crucial to lowering an animal's aggression.

“Spaying and neutering animals is very important to keep them from biting as well. Unaltered male dogs are 70-percent more likely to be a biting animal,” Harmon added.

He said dogs chained up and confined most of their lives are 75-percent more likely to bite.

Miracle Catching pleads for pet owners across South Bend to think about the long lasting consequences.

“People need to start putting their dogs on leashes and chains. It's not that hard. It takes two seconds to prevent this from happening to someone else,” she said.

So little kids like Ebony can play outside in peace not worried or afraid for their safety.

If you ever see an animal you think may be a danger to public safety you are urged to call Animal Care and Control.

And if it is an immediate threat do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Tips from the SBACC
  • There is no such thing as a bad breed of dog. All dogs can bite if provoked. Responsible dog ownership is key.
  • Carefully consider your pet selection. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Socialize your dog so it feels at ease around strangers and other animals. Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened and teased.
  • Train your dog to respond to the basic commands.
  • Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies.
  • Neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite.
  • Be alert to signs your dog is uncomfortable or feeling aggressive.
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