A three-year-old girl was badly mauled by a large dog on Labor Day, requiring her to be flown to the University of Louisville Hospital following the attack near Briar Ridge.
Spencer County Animal Control Director Melvin Gore said the girl was with a group of adults at a residence on KY 248 when the dog attacked her shortly before 4 p.m. last Monday.
The families were playing and the dog, a MASTIFF that Gore estimated to weigh about 75 pounds, was also with the families, when it jumped on the girl.
“To my best understanding, it was an unprovoked attack,” said Gore.
Taylorsville City Police Officer Tim Montgomery worked the incident, and said all parties were from Louisville. The dog’s owners, Debbie and John Henry, have some farm land with a cabin situated on Briar Ridge Road. They were joined that day by Tony Westmeir, who also had his three-year-old daughter with him.
The child was being transported to Taylorsville by private vehicle, but the car broke down and Spencer County EMS met the family at the Settlers Trace gas station, and then brought the victim to the high school where a landing zone for the medical helicopter had been set up.
Montgomery said he did not see the victim, but understood most of her injuries were to the upper part of her body. He said no criminal charges were anticipated to be filed, but said the matter may result in civil action.
Gore credited the EMS for their response and quick decision to fly the girl out, saying it likely prevented more severe or permanent injuries.
The dog was taken by Gore to the animal shelter where it will be held for 10 days for evaluation of any disease like rabies. He said the records indicate the dog was up to date on all its shots. The dog had no prior history of aggression and Gore said it’s not displayed any aggression while in his care. What becomes of the dog may initially rest with the owner.
“In Kentucky, dogs are property, so the owner would make that decision,” he said, when asked if the dog might be euthanized. That decision could also be made by a judge at a later date.
However, later this week the ten day quarantine will expire, and Gore said the Spencer County Health Department will likely issue an order for the dog’s release back to the owner.