RACINE (WITI) — Racine police were called to St. Mary’s Emergency Room on Tuesday, August 5th for a dog bite investigation.
Upon their arrival, officers learned that a one-year-old girl was visiting her grandparents when she was bitten in the face by the family dog.
Racine police say it happened at a home in the 1700 block of Linden Avenue.
The girl was suffering from severe facial injuries.
Due to the severity of her injuries, Flight for Life responded to transport the victim to Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment.
Officers were advised by the victim’s grandfather that he had put the dog on a leash to go outside, when the dog unexpectedly turned around and bit the child in the face.
The family was able to quickly get the dog off the child and she was immediately transported to the hospital for treatment.
Officials say the victim’s injuries are severe, but not believed to be life-threatening.
“The family was very devastated. They did not anticipate something like this happening. Grandpa put the dog on a leash and was getting ready to take him outside for a walk. Something startled the dog, and it turned around quick and unexpectedly bit the child right in the face,” Racine Police Sgt. Jessie Metoyer said.
The child’s grandmother did not want to talk with FOX6 News on camera, but says the child likely pulled the dog’s tail.
“It’s very fortunate that they were able to get the dog off of her as quickly as they could,” Metoyer said.
Dog trainer Janice DeMadona says this sort of attack doesn’t surprise her.
“Any dog can bite. The most common dog bites are to children and from dogs that they know!” DeMadona said.
DeMadona says the key to stopping these incidents is understanding when a dog is under stress.
“People have to learn how to read their dog’s body language,” DeMadona said.
DeMadona says it’s important to get the proper training so that a dog can expect the unexpected from a child.
“Teach a dog that, so it’s not a shock when those kinds of things happen,” DeMadona said.
It’s advice that DeMadona hopes will stop other attacks like this one.
“They’re heartbroken for their granddaughter,” Metoyer said.
The dog, a three-year-old male Red Nose Pit Bull, is up to date on vaccinations.
The owners were issued 10-day quarantine orders. A veterinarian will assess the situation after those 10 days are over.
The little girl’s family members tell FOX6 News she has had surgery, and is expected to make a full recovery.