Two children were attacked by a dog in Erie on Wednesday afternoon. The attack happened on the 800 block of West Fifth Street when an 85 pound Akita went after an 8-year-old boy and then turned on his 7-year-old sister.
After a myriad of bites, cuts, scrapes, and bruises, followed by a number of rabies shots, the children are now back at home and will not return to school for another week and a half. They were greeted with a half-gallon of ice cream to split between the two of them upon their arrival home.
The scary encounter happened as the two children were walking home from school. They told police and animal enforcement officers that they were walking past a neighbor's house when a giant dog they had never seen before jumped off of the porch and went after the boy. The 8-year-old was severely bitten on his left elbow and had to get twelve stitches. He was also bitten on the back as he tried to escape. His parents were told he will need more treatment over the next few weeks. The Akita–which are generally well-behaved dogs, but considered dangerous because of the types of bite wounds they can inflict–then turned on the boy's 7-year-old sister. The little girl was bitten on the back of her head and suffered other injuries to her face when the dog knocked her to the ground. The girl had to have six staples in the back of her head to close the bite wound.
The children's 37-year-old father heard the commotion and ran to his kids' aid. He fought the dog off as best he could and pulled them into a door of Emerson-Gridley Elementary School. An ambulance eventually arrived and took the children to UPMC Hamot to be treated and given the rabies shots.
The dog was seized by an Erie animal enforcement officer after the unidentified owner signed it over. It was eventually put down, but police say that it was current on all of its shots. However, the dog's body will be tested for rabies due to the severity of the bites.
Police will cite the dog's owner for not having an up-to-date dog license, as well as for failing to control a domesticated animal. Police and animal enforcement were also searching the neighborhood for anyone else who may have had problems with the dog in the past.
In a moment of brief smiles during the interview, children told reporters that, despite the attack, they are still not afraid of dogs.
Source: GoErie.com, "Children recovering from dog attack in Erie" 11 April 2014