A five-year-old girl was in critical condition on Thursday at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., after being savagely mauled on April 3 by an English Bulldog and a Presa Canario owned by her mother’s boyfriend, according to Charles County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies responded to the home in the 8600 block of Billingsley Road in White Plains, Maryland, around 6:00 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about a dog attack in the backyard. They discovered the naked body of the little girl lying on the ground, wounded and covered in blood.
Spokeswoman Diane Richardson told the Washington Post that the dogs had ripped the cloths off the child’s body, and she was suffering from multiple dog bites, lacerations and other injuries to her face, neck and body.
Two dogs—an English Bulldog and a Presa Canario—were near her. Another Presa Canario was locked in a kennel in the yard.
The child was immediately flown to Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. with critical injuries, Richardson said.
Presa Canario is a breed of large muscular dogs, described as very dominant and animal aggressive. The males can weigh up to 120 pounds. They received recognition after a pair being allegedly planned to be used for dog fighting brutally killed Diane Whipple in San Francisco in January 2001.
Charles County sheriff’s preliminary investigation revealed that the five-year-old Maryland girl was at home with her mother's boyfriend. The boyfriend told officers he was getting ready to leave the house about 6:00 p.m. and take the girl with him, but he was not able to find her inside. The man said he checked outside and found the little girl unconscious.
The attack occurred in a fenced in area and there is a kennel in the backyard which is also fenced in. Family members told Sheriff’s investigators that is where the dogs are normally kept.
Richardson said the girl and her mother had recently moved into the home, where the boyfriend lived with his grandmother and kept an English bulldog and two Presa Canarios.
There was no informaton regarding the whereabouts of the mother at the time of the attack, nor if anyone else was in the home. All names have been withheld until it is determined if charges will be made, sheriffs said.
According to a report by WUSA9, neighbors told officers the occupants had lived at the house for about six months and previously had many more dogs in the yard. Animal control stated that they had responded to at least one call before at that location, at the request of the dog owner, the report said.
At this point, it is unknown if the little girl let the dogs out of the kennel or if they were already out. It is also unclear if both dogs attacked her or just one, said the Sheriff’s spokesperson.
The two loose dogs were euthanized by Charles County animal control Thursday morning and the third dog was removed from the home, Richardson said.
Detectives are trying to determine how long the girl had been out in the backyard before she was discovered. “We have a lot to do in terms of the investigation to try and find out what happened,” she said.
(Charles County is in the south central portion of Maryland and is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area.)