5-year-old hospitalized after pit bull attack

by: Alexis Stevens Updated:

GRIFFIN, Ga. —

A 5-year-old Spalding County girl was severely injured when she was attacked by her family’s pit bull Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

The child, whose name was not released, was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where she was being treated for severe facial trauma, Capt. Dwayne Jones with Griffin police said.

“She was in her fenced-in backyard,” Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When the officer arrived, the dog was latched on to the child’s face.”

The child’s grandmother was trying to pull the dog off the girl when Cpl. Stan Phillips arrived at the Ruth Street home around 2:40 p.m., according to police. Phillips was forced to shoot the dog to prevent further injuries to the child, possibly saving her life, Jones said.

A landing zone was established in the nearby Spalding Village shopping center and the child was flown to Egleston, Jones said. Emergency responders treated the child’s grandmother at the scene for superficial injuries. Injuries to both the girl and her grandmother were the result of the dog’s actions and not from the gunshot, according to police.

The dog’s remains were taken to the Spalding County Animal Shelter and will be tested for rabies, Jones said. Two other dogs were also taken to the animal shelter, but it was not immediately known if those two dogs also lived at the home.

No previous problems related to animals had ever been reported at the home, Jones said.