A rescued pit bull named Bandit attacked an 11-year-old Evans, Colorado, girl at around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 22, in front of her home.
The victim, Brianna Leos, suffered serious injuries to her scalp and scratches to her neck and back, and required 50 staples, plus stitches, to close the wounds.
Brianna told 9NEWS that she is now afraid of big dogs because of the attack by her neighbor’s pit bull. She says she was just playing in front of her house when the pit bull ran past her neighbor while he was coming out the door.
"I was trying to run to my house as fast as I can, right as I got to the porch, the dog just came and attacked me," she said.
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The little girl is now having nightmares that the neighbor’s dog is going to attack her again, her mother, Tasja Guerrero, told the Greeley Tribune.
The neighbor in question is Stephen Luersen, who was cited on Sunday afternoon for harboring a vicious dog, City of Evans spokeswoman Kristan Williams told reporters.
Guerreo told 9NEWS the pit bull’s owner had warned them when he recently moved in next door that one of his pets was adopted and had been previously abused. He reportedly told them the pit bull “had issues with women,” and to stay away from it, meaning not to approach it or try to pet it.
According to Guerrero, her daughter told her in the hospital that she didn’t want to go home and wants to move because she is afraid of the dog.
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Guerrero said she was worried because the City left the dog with Luersen for the 10-day quarantine period and Bandit is supposed to be kept in the house. She said she had promised her daughter at the hospital that the dog would be gone when she got home.
"To me, you see a dog does this, sees the injuries, you don't leave it at home," Guerrero told Evans police. "There is no sense in the world for you to leave that dog to go back inside. Especially if it got out the first time by mistake. That's not OK."
So, on Monday, Evans Police Commander Chad Harding went to see Brianna's injuries and decided that Bandit should be quarantined at the Weld County Animal Shelter. He told 9NEWS that the City may look at its quarantine policy and consider changing it.
On Monday afternoon, Evans police escorted Luersen to drop off the dog at the Humane Society of Weld County for the quarantine period.
Luersen told the Greeley Tribune that he had adopted Bandit as a 3-month-old puppy in the parking lot of Walmart about one year ago. He said he was warned by the family who owned Bandit that he had already “bitten or nipped at their babies.” He also said Bandit had been abused by a woman.
A veterinarian also advised him later that Bandit had some issues, he said, but he felt he needed to save the dog. He added that Bandit was his best friend and got him through some serious issues in his own life.
Luersen also told the Greeley Tribune that when Bandit raced through his legs to get to Brianna Leos on Sunday, he could not stop him. He decided that Bandit should be euthanized because of the attack on the little girl.
Photo Credit: 9 News, Greeley Tribune