Two family Pit Bull-mixes were euthanized Friday after suddenly attacking their owner, John Faucette, and his 4-year-old daughter in their home in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Faucette, 37, told St. Petersburg police that the family's two dogs had been running through the house Thursday night, chasing each other and playing in the 4-year-old's room before unexpectedly turning on the little girl.
The home is on Yale Street North. Faucette said he was in the living room when he heard his daughter screaming and rushed into her bedroom to find the Pit Bulls attacking her.
"When he ran into the bedroom, he saw that she was bleeding from the face, and she said one of the dogs had bitten her," police spokesman Sgt. Mike Puetz said in a statement.
Then both Pit Bulls began attacking Faucette, who told police he “kicked and punched the animals in an effort to whisk his daughter to safety inside a bathroom,” according to the Tampa Tribune.
Just then his wife arrived home during the commotion and Faucette used his child's paint easel to hold off the dogs until he could get his daughter and wife out of the house, police said.
He called 911, but when police and firefighters got there at about 8:15 p.m. the Pit Bulls were so aggressive that the emergency responders had to hold the front door closed to protect themselves, they said.
Both dogs "were extremely agitated and aggressive, growling, barking and attempting to push the door open," Sgt. Puetz said. Police called for a Pinellas County Animal Control officer, who captured the dogs with a catch pole.
The dogs had never shown aggression toward anyone before, John Faucette told St. Petersburg police.
Paramedics treated the 4-year-old girl’s facial wounds before she was taken to All Children's Hospital, the Tampa Tribune states.
Authorities said Faucette told them Friday morning that he did not want the dogs back, and Pinellas County Animal Control euthanized them. A test will be done for rabies.
It's unclear what provoked Thursday's attack, though the animal control agency advises that small children should not be left alone with dogs and no one should run past a dog.
There are more than a thousand dog bites reported each year in Pinellas County. Pit bulls mixes such the ones in Thursday's attack have a particularly bad reputation for attacks, leading some jurisdictions, including Miami-Dade County, to ban them, the Tampa Tribune states.
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