UPDATE | Relative shares more details after 12-year-old girl mauled by dog

Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 11:39 AM EDT
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UPDATE 7/12/19 @ 11 p.m.

A family member is sharing more details about a pet dog attacking a 12-year-old girl.

The dog, which we're told was part pit bull, was put down at the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter after biting the girl's face at her home in Kenova Wednesday morning.

"It's very heartbreaking," the girl's aunt Kelly Napier tells WSAZ.

Napier says the girl was home alone when the dog bit her multiple times.

"I asked her what happened, and she said they were playing, and the dog just attacked," Napier said.

A woman who lives next door was the first person to see the girl after the attack. The neighbor, who didn't want her name used, says the little girl went outside and slammed the front door.

"I went over to check on her, and I asked if she was OK," the neighbor said. "She said 'No, I need help, the dog bit me,' and I asked if I could see it, because her shirt was over her face. Once I saw it, I knew I needed to call 911 immediately."

The aunt has a picture of the girl after the attack, which is too graphic to share. It shows her with a torn lip and a cut above the eye. She says her niece also suffered deep scratches on her arm and puncture wounds on the back of her neck, and she had to have plastic surgery.

The aunt says the girl was sad when she learned the dog was put down.

"She's so tough, and I really felt like she was more worried about the dog than she was herself," Napier said.

She adds the girl isn't the type to play rough in a way that would cause a dog to react this way.

"It really hurt me when I was reading comments people were making about her being rough or mean or aggressive, because that is not even in her DNA to do that," Napier said.

The aunt says she's grateful a surgeon said once the girl heals, her scars shouldn't be too noticeable.

The aunt says the girl has been staying at her grandma's house.

The Kenova Police Department says their report on the incident should be completed Monday.

UPDATE 7/11/19 @ 7 p.m.

A young girl had to go to the hospital after being attacked by her own pet.

A humane officer says it was the worst face bite he's ever seen.

The 12-year-old girl got stitches in her lip, and the dog was put down at the animal shelter.

The girl's mother's boyfriend says Wednesday the girl and the dog were playing in the living room of their home on 15th Street in Kenova like they'd done many times before. But he says the girl did start playing a little rough, and that's when the dog bit her face.

He says the dog was 2 years old, and they'd had it since it was a pup. He says when they got it, they thought it was a lab, but as it grew older it became apparent it was part pitbull.

He says before Wednesday, the dog had not shown any signs of violence whatsoever. He says it was loved and played like a baby.

Animal shelter director Courtney Proctor Cross says it's always a good idea not to let your kids play too rough with your pets.

"Make sure especially with little children or younger children that they're not climbing on an animal," Cross said. "An animal could have a sore place or be afraid of something or protecting its food and turn and snap at a child or injure the child."

The mom's boyfriend says he agrees the dog needed to be euthanized. He says the 12-year-old was sad when she learned the dog was put down.

He says the girl has pet a couple other dogs since the attack, and he's relieved it doesn't appear she's been too traumatized by the injury.


A young girl was mauled by her own pet Wednesday in Kenova.

According to a humane officer with Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Control, the dog attacked the 12-year-old's face.

The officer says it is the worst face bite he has ever seen.

The dog is a pitbull-lab mix, according to the humane officer.

The Kenova Police Department responded to the incident.

We're told the dog was euthanized to be tested for rabies.

There's no word on the child's condition.