Girl still in hospital after dog attack in E. Baltimore

January 09, 2008|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,Sun reporter

A 9-year-old girl remained hospitalized yesterday after being attacked by a "pit-bull type" dog that was running loose in an East Baltimore neighborhood, animal control officials said.

The animal bit the girl on her hands, arms and shoulders, said Bureau of Animal Control Director Bob Anderson, who did not release the child's name. She was rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital after the incident on Monday evening, but her condition could not be ascertained.

An unconfirmed report said the girl's grandmother tried to ward off the dog with a stick, but the agency's investigator was still looking into the incident late yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

The girl was attacked in the 800 block of Bonaparte Ave. shortly after 6 p.m. The dog wore no collar or tags that would identify it or its owner, Anderson said. When animal-control officer Travell Young arrived, he noted that the dog, a black male, "was not responsive and appeared to be injured," Anderson said. It also bore old bite marks.

The animal was taken to a veterinary technician and euthanized because it appeared to be suffering, he said. Its head was removed and sent to a laboratory to test for rabies.

"Lethargy is one of the possible signs for rabies, so why take a chance?" Anderson said. He said there are about 600 dog-bite cases every year in Baltimore, about one-quarter of which are from what he called pit-bull types, which include a range of breeds and half-breeds.

"Most people can't tell the difference between a Staffordshire terrier and an American bulldog," Anderson said. "Usually they're so scared they can't tell."

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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