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Palm Coast Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 1 week ago

Dogs maul 9-year-old girl, bite 74-year-old woman in separate incidents in Palm Coast

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There were three attacks involving uncontrolled pit bulls or pit bull mixes within two weeks.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Two people were bitten by pit bull or pit bull mix dogs in Palm Coast on two successive days Sunday, Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 5. 

In the Nov. 4 incident, a 9-year-old girl went over to the home of her friend to play and was mauled by a pit bull dog that slipped out the front door. She was left in such pain and needed so many stitches in so many places that she had to be sedated for a doctor to stitch her wounds, her parents later told a deputy.

The girl went to the friend's home at 47 Powder Horn Drive at about 3:30 p.m. and knocked on the door to ask if her friend could play, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office case report. But the family of her friend was preparing to go out, and the friend's mother, Sarah Fancher, 53, told her teenage son to go tell the 9-year-old that his sister wouldn't be available, according to Fancher's account to a deputy.

As the teen opened the front door, "[the victim] opened the front screen door. At that time, the dog (named Chopper) pushed past [the teen] and began to attack [the 9-year-old]," a deputy wrote tin the report, recounting Fancher's statement on the incident.

The brother later told a deputy that he had never seen his dog act that way: "He further relayed that Chopper was uncontrollable and acted in a 'rabid' manner," according to the report. The teen tried to help the girl get out of the dog's jaws, but couldn't.

Fancher ran outside to help, and the teen grabbed a yellow furniture dolly and began hitting the dog in the head with it, Fancher told the deputy. The dog started to let go of the girl after Fancher and the teen punched it multiple times in the head.

Fancher brought the girl inside to care for her wounds, Fancher told the deputy. The teen secured the dog in an enclosed back porch and then went to the girl's home down the street to tell her parents what had happened.

The 9-year-old's father called 911 at 3:39 p.m. as he was on the way to Florida Hospital Flagler with the girl. Fancher never called 911, according to the Sheriff's Office. She called the Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at 4:09 p.m., saying she wanted to surrender the dog. 

The 9-year-old was bitten on the top of her head, on the back of her shoulder, on both calves and shins and arms, her parents told a deputy, according to the FCSO case report. 

Speaking to a deputy, Fancher said that she had adopted Chopper, 2, from the Orange County Humane Society when he was 8 months old. She told the deputy that the dog had never been aggressive toward anyone, but that he gets "excited" whenever anyone range the doorbell and knocked on the door. She said that she'd told the victim and other guests in the past not to ring the doorbell or knock on the door for that reason.

An city of Palm Coast Animal Control officer came to the house and took custody of Chopper. The dog was compliant with the animal control officer, according to the case report.

The incident was the second time in less than two weeks that a dog had gotten past its owner at the front door and mauled someone: On Oct. 25, a pit bull-boxer mix on Perkins Lane attacked a 76-year-old Napoli Pizza delivery driver after the dog's owner opened the door and the dog slipped past her legs.

At about 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, a 74-year-old woman was outside of her home on Regent Lane when she saw a neighbor's pit bull dog, named Gunner, running through her yard.

The dog had gotten free and run through her yard in the past, but had always been friendly, according to the case report. The woman approached the dog and "attempted to kiss him on the head," according to the case report, and the dog bit her on the face, "causing minor lacerations to the outside and inside of her nose."

The woman fell back, and the dog bit again, on the upper back of her right arm.

When a deputy arrived, the woman was holding a towel to her face to stop the bleeding. The dog's owner, 34-year-old Lily King, of 8 Regent Lane, was also there and said she'd secured the dog in her home.

Fire Rescue responded and tended to the victim, who declined transport to the hospital. King was told to place the dog on quarantine until Animal Control responded to conduct and investigation.

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