A 6-year-old girl is in critical condition after the family’s pit bull snapped on the Fourth of July.
Now, neighbors say they want all of the aggressive dogs out of the neighborhood, before someone else gets hurt.
According to a Cleveland Police report, a little girl named Anastasia and her mother, Dawn Highsmith, 32, were inside the family’s home in the 3900 block of W.22nd Street around 7:45 p.m. when something fell onto the floor, spooking the family dog.
The brown and white pit bull latched onto Anastasia's face dragging her around the living room before turning onto her mother and Melissa Highsmith. A male also living at the home, Cuyahoga County Correction’s Officer Michael Shaw Jr., was off duty and able to grab his weapon. Shaw threw a chair at the dog and was able to separate the dog before getting Dawn Highsmith, Anastasia, Melissa Highsmith and Shaw’s son out of the house. Shaw shot the dog four times.
Highsmith held towels over Anastasia's body while neighbors helped out. Shaw assisted Melissa Highsmith while waiting for Cleveland Police, EMS and Animal Control to arrive. Both Highsmiths and Anastasia were bitten. All three victims were transported to MetroHealth Medical Center. Anastasia was last listed in critical condition and will need surgery.
Once Cleveland’s Division of Animal Control arrived they took both, the attacking dog and a second dog, from the home. The conditions and status' of both dogs are unknown. Calls to Cleveland Division of Animal Control’s Chief Animal Control Officer Ed Jamison were not returned Wednesday afternoon.
The neighborhood was somber Wednesday afternoon. Two neighbors spoke about the aggresssive dog problem on their street, saying there are at least half a dozen pit bulls on the block and THEY ALL SEEM AGGRESSIVE.. Lee Covert has lived on W. 22nd Street his entire life and can’t understand the need for aggressive dogs in the neighborhood. According to Covert, the same dog that attacked its family had recently gotten loose and police were called because a woman couldn’t get into her car.
Another neighbor who goes by John, is an ex-mail carrier. John, who witnessed the attack from his window, says he walks thirty minutes every day and the dogs on the block are constantly barking at him aggressively. The dogs have gotten so bad in the area, he carries mace on his belt while outside. Both neighbors say it could have been their grandchildren, and say something must change.