Animal Rights

Neighbor Saves 11-Month-Old From Pit Bull Attack

| by Zara Zhi

An 11-month-old girl was attacked by a loose pit bull in New Jersey. Luckily, the child was saved by a brave neighbor who pulled the dog away from her.  

It all started when a young couple was strolling in the quiet community of Nutley with their little girl in tow. The family was taken by surprise when a loose pit bull attacked the child’s stroller, reports WABC.

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"I came running out and the mother of the girl was hysterical. I was trying to take care of her, tell her everything is alright, not knowing the child had been bitten already," said Jim Lyons, a neighbor.

Bystanders say the screams could be heard throughout the neighborhood and brought everyone out of their homes along Walnut Street. All of them witnessed the dog clasp onto the 11-month-old’s leg.

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"Just a commotion, everyone was screaming, nobody knew where to go, what to do," said neighbor Seamus Burke.
Burke quickly jumped to the rescue by grabbing the dog’s wire leash and putting it on its neck while neighbors called 911, reports WCBS.

"The baby was there, everybody was on the dog next thing, we were like the baby's here screaming, losing all this blood and got her out of the stroller," Burke said. "We got the baby out of the stroller, tied a tourniquet, the mother was distraught, the father was too, just did what we had to do."

The child was taken to a nearby hospital and received more than 70 stitches for her injuries. She will need three days’ worth of plastic surgery to fix all her wounds.

Nutley Mayor Alphonse Petracco visited the girl's family and says many people in town are still worried.

"Quite frankly, I don't [believe] the dog should be back. I've had a lot of people coming up to me saying that these streets aren't safe because of a dog. We want to make sure that people feel safe to come out of their homes," Mayor Petracco said.

The baby girl's parents say they'll always be indebted to the neighbor -- who they consider a hero -- that helped.

The pit bull, who absconded from a neighboring home, is now in quarantine until the courts decide its fate.
The canine’s owner could not be reached for comment. They are scheduled to appear in court May 4.

Sources: WABC, WCBS / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons