Father describes lasting effect of dog attack on daughter

NOW: Father describes lasting effect of dog attack on daughter


After being attacked by a dog on Sunday afternoon, two-year-old, Arial Harrison is in stable condition following two surgeries on Thursday. 

Arial is looking at a very long road ahead, and despite the odds of making a full recovery, her father and family are staying hopeful as she continues to fight for her life in the ICU of Riley Children’s Hospital.

“When I got the call she was screaming so bad, the mother of my kids. I knew it was something. She wouldn’t tell me what it is. She was like ‘get to your mom’s,’” explained Donald Harrison, Arial’s father.

Arial and her seven-year-old brother, Anthony, were brutally mauled by a neighbor’s pit bull while they were playing in their grandmother’s backyard in Cass County’s Calvin Township.

The dog was placed in the back of a squad car and taken to the pound for up to 10 days.

Arial was rushed to Memorial Hospital in South Bend before being transported to Riley Children’s Hospital.

“All these nurses looked at me and were like keep talking to her, keep talking to her, keep talking to her. She knows you are here. As soon as she heard my voice, she said ‘dada, dada’ and that hurt,” said Harrison.

Arial could remain in Indianapolis for up to six months.

Now, her fragile frame is bound in bandages

Both of her ears were lost, along with her ability to smile. Her ability to grow hair is also in jeopardy as the dog ripped off her scalp.

Harrison, with a pit bull of his own, is not putting the blame on the breed.

“A dog is like a human, if you train that soldier to go kill at a war, that’s what he’s going to do. If you train a dog to be aggressive, he’s going to be aggressive,” said Harrison.

Arial is facing up-hill battles and years of surgery.

Doctors say it could be 10 to 15 years before she is fully healed.

The family is thankful she’s alive and is now looking to seek justice against the dog’s owner.

“They didn’t know if they were going to press charges against them or not. How do you not know that? This is damn near murder,” said Harrison.

Cass County Sheriff Richard Behnke confirming to ABC 57 News that the case is being forwarded to the Cass County Prosecutor’s office for charges where we could see something as early as Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Arial’s brother, Anthony, was released from the hospital and is expected to be ok.

To help with medical expenses, the family has set up a GoFundMe page:


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