A young girl was seriously injured in an attack by a dog on Birch Avenue in Prospect Wednesday evening. Police said the unnamed 8-year-old child had “a very serious bite to her ear,” as well as several other bites from the “ferocious dog.”
The girl, who was reportedly visiting from Jamaica, was bitten about 5 p.m. when the dog, which police said “appeared to be a pit bull,” escaped its tether in the yard of the house in which the child was staying. Police said the attack occurred after the dog chased the girl and another child who was also staying at the house.
Police described the girl’s injuries as “serious, but not life-threatening.”
Helen White, 35, lives next door to the house. She said she was the first on the scene when the girl was attacked.
Ms. White said she had arrived home from work and was taking a nap when she was awakened by the commotion.
“I heard someone screaming in my sleep,” she said. “I got up and peeped through my window. I saw a dog and a girl under it.”
She said she yelled at the dog to get away, but it continued to bite the girl.
“I went and tried to hit the dog, but the dog tried to bite me,” she said.
Ms. White raced back inside her apartment and grabbed a broom and then her hose. When she hit the dog, she said, it began to come after her. Each time she backed off, the dog returned to attacking the girl.
It was only when another neighbor dumped a bucket of water over the dog, that it finally ran off, Ms. White said.
Another neighbor, reportedly a member of the police service, called an ambulance.
Yet another neighbor, Sonya Reid, 33, accompanied the injured girl to the hospital and stayed with her until the girl’s father arrived. She did not see the attack, but came out of her house when she heard the commotion on the street.
“When I got there, she was basically covered in blood,” Ms. Reid said, most of which was coming from the child’s injured ear. “Her ear was basically gone. I think everybody cried, that was there.”
Ms. Reid said the girl had bites on her back and arms and other injuries on her limbs that could have been from the dog dragging her in the street. She was surprised at how calm the child was.
“She was a real trouper,” Ms. Reid said. “She was the calmest 8 year old I’ve ever seen in that situation.”
Ms. Reid said she has lived on Birch Avenue for six months and never noticed aggressive dogs being a problem. She’s thinking twice now, especially for when her own young children visit her in the future.
“My kids are outdoor kids,” she said, “but I’m definitely not having them play outside.”
Police confronted the animal and were prepared to shoot it, but an animal control officer was able to get control of it.
“Officers attempted to contain the animal, which charged at them. Armed officers drew their weapons but did not fire when the dog withdrew,” police said in a press statement.
The dog is currently being held by the Department of Agriculture.
A woman who came to the door of the home where the girl is reportedly visiting initially told a Cayman Compass reporter that she knew nothing of the attack. Later, she said the family had been advised by an attorney not to comment on the incident.