An attack by a neighbor’s dog sent an 11-year-old Mount Airy girl to the hospital with injuries to her face and nose Monday morning.
Briona Love, a fifth-grader at Jones Intermediate School, and her 12-year-old sister had taken their own dog, a Pomeranian, outside at about 6:30 a.m., said their mother, Nicole Davis.
They were in their Samurai Lane yard with the smaller dog and noticed the approach of two dogs.
As Love bent to pick up the Pomeranian, one of the dogs attacked and bit the girl.
“The other dog didn’t bite her,” Davis said.
Love was transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County, treated and released.
Davis said the injuries consisted of a puncture hole to the top of her lip and tears inside her lip, and a cut on her nose that basically “cut the nostril in half.”
Health care providers were able to repair the nostril with glue and no stitches were required on the lip.
“She’ll have a scar for the rest of her life,” Davis said. “The thing that terrified me the most was hearing her scream.”
Love also received the first five in a series of rabies shots and will return weekly for the next to weeks to continue the treatment, she said.
“She’s still in a state of shock,” Davis said of her daughter. “She’s worn out and tired. She can’t even feel her face at the moment. We’re all kind of shaken up. I’m more than shaken up.”
Davis said the incident was not the first time the dogs had been loose in the Mount Airy neighborhood.
One dog belonged to a tenant who had moved and frequently had run back to its former home.
The dog that bit Love lived in the neighborhood and had previously snipped at her son, causing Davis to complain to the landlord, she said.
Surry County Animal Control originally had captured the non-biting dog, but returned later and “picked up the right dog,” said Abraham Doby, an officer with the agency.
Doby identified the dog as a male lab mix and said the dog’s owner had signed it over to the county.
The officer did not have access to the owner’s identity Monday afternoon.
The dog that bit Love will be euthanized and specimens sent to a lab for testing, said Doby, noting that animals with no vaccination records in certain situations could be quarantined for ten days and, if they show no signs of carrying the virus, potentially be returned to their owner.
When an animal bites, “anytime it’s a child or is off property it could be considered potentially dangerous,” he said. “Our main objective is to make sure the population is safe.”
Though no charges have been filed, the incident is still under investigation, Doby said.
“There is no leash law in the county,” he said, adding that “the owner of an animal is responsible for keeping animals on the property.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.