Authorities have euthanized a PIT BULL after it recently attacked two children, including a 7-year-old girl who received 50-75 stitches and will need plastic surgery.
Alecia Finch suffered severe cuts to her face and a torus or "buckle" fracture to her left arm when a 1 1/2-year-old pit bull attacked her Sept. 2 while playing in the back yard of a home on First Street, said her mother, Amber Garner.
Alecia is healing, and undergoing treatment, but she missed her first week of second grade at Vandercook Lake's Townsend Elementary, Garner said. Emotionally, Garner said her daughter is scared and is very self conscious.
"She's a girl who cares about how she looks at 7 years old," Garner said. "She hates for me to try to take pictures of her now because she said she's not pretty."
The dog, Max, had bitten a 12-year-old boy about an 90 minutes before he turned on Alecia, according to a Jackson police report. One of the dog's owners called 911 at 3:25 p.m. to report the incident and the 12-year-old was taken to the hospital. He was receiving stitches in his right arm when a second 911 call came in, stating the dog had bitten Alecia at 5 p.m., the police report said.
Jackson police Officer Dean Schuette Jr. wrote that both dog owners, a man and a woman, were cooperative. The owners told Schuette they had owned Max since he was 4 weeks old. They also own a 1-year-old female pit bull named Peaches, the report said. After the first attack, Max was moved to the backyard on a chain, the report said. Alecia was attacked while petting Peaches when Max unexpectedly knocked her to the ground, biting her face and arm before she was able to crawl away.
Garner said she went to Allegiance Health shortly after the attack and doctors told her Alecia would need to be transferred to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor where she would undergo plastic surgery on her face and receive 50 to 75 stitches. Alecia also needed several rounds of rabies shots as the dog was not vaccinated, Garner said.
Meanwhile, Max was taken to the Jackson County Animal Shelter where he was held for 10 days under quarantine and then euthanized, said Sandy Clark, lead shelter attendant at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.
Clark said it would be "legally, morally and ethically" inappropriate to try to find a new home for Max given his history. The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing the incident.
Garner said while Alecia is healing quickly, she may have suffered permanent nerve damage around her mouth. Doctors are considering the use of steroid injections to stimulate those muscles, she said.
"Everybody always said, 'It's a family dog, it won't bite.' I just want people to know they can't be so certain what that dog will do, because at the end of the day, you can't trust that animal," Garner said.