Seven-year-old Randa Westbrook spent two days in Intensive Care and an additional three days at Covenant Children's Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, after a vicious attack by a neighbor’s Pit Bull. She will be recovering for many months—maybe years. Her mother, Lindsey, said Randa underwent a three-hour surgery the night of the attack and had to have plastic surgery and then had a drain in her neck. Lindsey says the dog ripped Randa's neck, tearing some of her muscles, WAFB reports.
“She had deep gashes on her right cheek, she had a couple of punctures in her throat, her ear was pretty much just hanging... She had deep lacerations in the corner of her eye," Lindsey said “…She had so much blood all over her, just draining down her face," she said.
Although her mother is deeply grateful Randa is alive, she is also wondering how they are going to pay the medical bills.
"It could have been so much worse, Lindsey told KDCB, “If Steve hadn't seen her, I really believe that dog would have never let her go. And we wouldn't be here today with her," Lindsey said. Steve Cortez is the neighbor who rescued little Randa.
The attack took place on June 27, around 6 p.m., right after 7-year-old Randa, asked to play with a friend outside--something she often did. Lindsey said she thought nothing of it and agreed to her daughter's play date.
The next thing she remembers is looking out the window to see Steve Cortez running toward their house with Randa in his arms. "He had seen her out of his kitchen window and he ran to her. By that time she was face down in her blood with her hands over her head," Lindsey told WAFB.
“I picked her up and took her to her parents' house--a lot of blood, a lot of pain. She said, 'Steve, Steve the dog,' and I said 'Mija, you're going to be all right,'" Cortez said.
The Pit Bull that attacked Randa was named Sadie. Sadie lived two houses down from the Westbrooks and was twelve years old. She belonged to Rudy and Angie Hernandez.
This was not the first time Sadie had attacked someone, according to the report. In September 2012, Animal Services Supervisor Shawn Byrd said Sadie attacked someone else but was released back to her owners after being quarantined for 240 hours for rabies observation.
Lindsey said that it makes her angry to know that the Pit Bull was involved in such an aggressive attack and neighbors were not informed. She believes stricter laws need to be in place for dangerous dogs. "If it's been to the pound for this before, something's got to be done. If my dogs did this to my own kids, they would be put down," she said.
So why wasn't Sadie declared a dangerous dog back in 2012? Animal services officers told KCBD it was because the attack occurred on the owner's property. The city ordinance states, "No animal shall be declared a dangerous animal if the threat, injury, or damaged caused by the animal was the result of a willful trespass upon another's property."
If the person bitten doesn't file an affidavit, the city has the option to file after investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. If severe injuries are involved, the city can initiate a Dangerous Animal Hearing on its own. However, the worker who was attacked says he wasn't aware a complaint needed to be filed against the animal, so nothing was ever done.
The Hernandez family chose to have Sadie put down. They said they hoped they could say ‘goodbye’ before Animal Services forced the issue, WAFB reports.
For all Randa has been through already, Lindsey says this is just the beginning. "In about a year, they're going to reassess and see if she needs further surgery, or dermabrasion, or how extensive the damage is," she said.