Pigtown girl, 4, mauled by two dogs

Child was trying to pet animal, is hospitalized

April 13, 2001|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

A 4-year-old Pigtown girl was mauled by two dogs yesterday after she tried to pet one of the animals.

Brooke Iser of the 1200 block of W. Cross St. in Southwest Baltimore was listed in good condition last night with head and facial wounds at Johns Hopkins Hospital's pediatrics unit.

Police said the girl was playing near her home about 1 p.m. when she approached two dogs of mixed breed, possibly German shepherd and Labrador.

"As she attempted to pet the dog, he attacked her, and the other dog joined in," said Agent Martin Bartness of the Police Department's public information office. "The one who apparently initiated the attack is the one who looks like a yellow Lab."

Police responded to the scene after receiving several calls. They found the dogs lying in the front yard of a house in the 1200 block of W. Cross St. where police believe their owners live. Bartness said he had not verified the dogs' owners' names. The dogs were not leashed and were not wearing tags, he said.

Bob Anderson, director of the Bureau of Animal Control, said the dogs were taken to the shelter yesterday and a decision had not been made on whether to euthanize them.

"As long as the dogs are in the shelter, they're under quarantine watch, which means we watch for any signs of rabies over the next 10 days," Anderson said. "It's up to the doctor whether or not to start the rabies vaccination on the girl."

Anderson said a formal investigation of the incident will likely start Monday. City offices are closed today for the Easter holiday.

Bartness said he did not have statistics on how many children are attacked by dogs citywide.

In January, a 7-year-old girl visiting her grandparents in Southwest Baltimore was mauled by a pit bull that escaped through a hole in a fence and latched onto her as family and neighbors tried to force the dog to loosen its grip, city police and witnesses said. The girl, Kasey Eyring, was taken by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and treated for severe bites to her face and buttocks, hospital officials said.

Sun staff writer Childs Walker contributed to this article.

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