by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A 10-year-old girl had to get 26 stitches in her face and painful rabies shots after a dog attacked her.
Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri talked to Amber Bergin and her parents Monday after she received rabies shots at Gwinnett Medical Center.
Amber had to get the shots because the owner of the dog sent it away instead of turning it into animal control officers to be quarantined.
Had that happened, Amber's parents said Monday's painful shots could have been avoided.
Amber told Viteri she's still in pain from the 26 stitches in her lips where the pit bull bit her Friday, holding on to her new stuffed animal after getting painful rabies shots in the stomach.
"I had to get four different shots," Amber said.
Amber said she went with her mother to a home on Cochran road in Gainesville to drop off some second-hand items.
She said a neighbor's child told her she could pet their pit bull named Chief.
"I went to pet it, it started to sniff my hand and jumped up and bit me," Amber said
"There was no bottom lip. It was completely gone," said Heather Lasseter, who rushed her daughter to the emergency room where doctors were able to stitch up what was left of her mouth.
A Hall County animal control spokesperson told Viteri Chief's owner initially sent the dog to an unknown location so they were unable to get it quarantined in time for Amber to avoid Monday's rabies shots.
"Why would you protect a dog over a child? Put a child through more pain and suffering? Have to get a round of rabies shots," Lasseter said.
Monday evening the owner turned Chief in to officers who cited her for not having proof of rabies inoculation.
The owner told Viteri off camera she sent the dog to a friend's home because she didn't think animal control was open on the weekend.
Amber told Viteri she still loves dogs and despite her injuries, doesn't want Chief put down.
"The dog is stuck on a rope 24/7 so I'd like to see it go to a new home with people that would actually care," Amber said.
Hall County Animal Control said they will keep the dog for the 10 days required by state law.
They say the owner won't be cited for the dog being loose or unattended since he was tied up in the owner's yard.