What should have been a fun day at the park turned into a nightmare for a 5-year-old girl, who was not only traumatized but also left needing 50 stitches and staples after she was savaged by a dog. What the canine’s owner did before, during, and after the attack, though, makes this tragedy even worse.
Florian Becker, the concerned father of a 5-year-old Florida girl, decided to speak out after his child was attacked by a dog at a park in Fort Lauderdale, leaving the girl scarred and “absolutely traumatized.” According to the dad, his daughter was left struggling to heal after a Tuesday outing to Hortt Park took a terrifying turn when a dog savaged the little girl, biting her face, neck, shoulders, back, and scalp.
Making matters worse, the child, who was playing at the park with her mom that fateful afternoon, was invited to pet the dog by the dog’s owner, who said the animal was “nice” and a recent rescue, CBS reported.
“A lady with a dog walked up,” Becker recalled. “[S]he invited the kids to come and pet the dog.”
Other children were reportedly already petting the dog, which the owner said was “really good with kids,” according to Daily Mail. But, that’s not the experience Becker’s daughter had when she “cautiously” approached the pet.
“My daughter went up and pet him, and all of a sudden, the dog turned and bit her in her face,” Becker said.
Of course, the child’s mother tried to protect her, but the woman was no match for the canine. The terrified mom — who happened to be an ER physician — was left screaming for the owner to do something as she struggled to pry the dog off her child.
“My wife was shocked and screamed, tried to pull the dog back by its collar, and the collar broke,” the dad explained. “The dog attacked again, this time more viciously, and she was grabbing the dog and fighting it back, holding on to it, screaming at the woman to take control of her dog.”
Part of the brutal dog attack and the harrowing sounds of it, including the screams of the child and her mother, as well as the dog’s barks, were captured by a nearby surveillance camera before the frantic mother was finally able to free her daughter from the dog’s grasp and get her away, WSAZ reported. Sadly, the damage was already done.
The brave but traumatized child was rushed to a local hospital emergency room with extensive injuries that required more than 50 stitches and staples to her face, neck, shoulders, back, and scalp, the NY Post reported. Thankfully, however, the bite wounds missed the little girl’s eye. Knowing this, the dad admitted that his daughter was very lucky not to have sustained damage to her sight, even though she faced a long road to recovery.
As the swelling in his daughter’s face went down as the shaken tot recovered from her injuries, which took about five hours for doctors to repair, Florian Becker was faced with the reality that not all of her wounds were physical and realized that his little girl was struggling to understand the assault.
“She said… ‘Why are you looking at me?’ My wife said, ‘Because you’re beautiful.’ And she said, ‘No, I look like a monster.’ So, these scars will be there for a long time,” Becker said, referring to the girl’s emotional and physical wounds.
Police were called to the park after the mauling, but the woman and her dog were already gone, having left the scene, Becker said. The owner and the dog were later identified and eventually located, according to reports, but they failed to mention if any charges would be filed in the case. The dog, whose breed was not disclosed, was reportedly turned over to animal control.
Florian Becker, along with many social media users commenting on various reports of the attack, ripped the dog owner for failing to maintain control of the animal as well as being unable to take control of the situation once it unfolded.
“The owner of the dog didn’t take control of the situation, unfortunately, and my wife had to basically jump in and wrestle the dog away while my little girl was bleeding on the ground,” Becker said.
Of course, there were those who seemed to blame the parents, alleging that the mother should never have allowed her child to get close to the dog, regardless of what the dog’s owner said because you never know how an animal might react. Unfortunately, most would assume that the dog owner, knowing they are responsible for their pet’s actions, wouldn’t encourage children to pet their dog if they had any reason to believe it wasn’t safe. Sadly, some pet owners don’t know their beloved canines as well as they think they do, so parents must beware since there never seems to be a shortage of dog attacks in the news.