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Sullivan County girl, 8, mauled by pit bull

December 31st, 2013 11:39 am by Rain Smith

Sullivan County girl, 8, mauled by pit bull

A Bluff City girl was flown to the hospital by helicopter early Tuesday morning after being attacked by her family's pit bull.

An incident report at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says police and EMS responded to the victim's home, 469 Ryder Road, shortly after midnight. The girl, age 8, was found with a horseshoe-shaped wound in her head, approximately 9 inches long and one-quarter to half an inch deep.

The girl was transported to Johnson City Medical Center by air rescue while an animal control officer responded to pick up the dog.

According to statements made to police by the victim's mother, the girl had not been feeling well and got up out of bed. While being held by her mother, who was sitting on a couch, the pit bull "suddenly" attacked, latching onto the left side of the child's head.

After "getting the dog loose" it was placed in a fenced area outside until authorities arrived. Police say a check with a veterinarian revealed the  animal was up to date on shots.

The victim's mother told police that the dog had been acting strangely prior to the attack, "as if someone was outside."

A report notes two additional young children live in the home, and a referral concerning the incident was made to the Department of Children's Services. 

SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says the girl is expected to recover from her injuries.

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