8-Year-Old Girl Hospitalized after Dog Attack; Father Speaks Out

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hurry up and wait -- that's all Eric Smarr can do while waiting for his daughter to recover at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Smarr's daughter was playing Sunday in a Huntington neighborhood near Baer Street when she was attacked by a large dog.

"She ran up the hill to a friend's house, and apparently when she was in his yard one of his dogs got out and attacked her," Smarr said.

Smarr saved pictures of the attack, but says they're too graphic to share. They're images he may be able to delete from his phone, but not from his memory.

"She had been bitten numerous times on the hands," Smarr said. "[She was bit on] one of her wrists, one on her neck, one over her right eye, left calf and right upper thigh."

Smarr says it's a terrible situation that no parent ever wants to face.

"Just a big feeling of helplessness," Smarr said. "I couldn't do anything but comfort her until the EMTs arrived."

Machalia was rushed to the emergency room where she was treated before being admitted to the hospital. Her father is now left not only to worry about her physical scars, but any mental ones, as well.

"Hopefully, she won't be traumatized or scared of dogs, but more cautious and aware of animals and their attitudes," Smarr said. "I hope she takes that away from that experience."

No charges have been filed against the owner of the dog. Smarr said something needs to be done, but he wouldn't go as far to say the dog should be put down.

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