BATAVIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – An 8-year-old girl needed 218 stitches to close the wounds around her jaw and lips after a pit bull-boxer mix bit her in the face Sunday.
Raelynn Liming was back home with her family in Batavia Township Monday after being treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Police say Liming was staying the night with a friend at the Greenbriar Mobile Home Park in the 200 block of Seton Court when the attack happened.
Officials said she was sitting on the floor watching television at about 9:50 p.m. when the dog walked up to her without any warning and bit her near her mouth.
“That dog mangled her pretty good,” said Steve Knauber, Liming’s father. “They had to go and put stitches all the way across her top lip and then she's got a gash right across… from where her chin was hanging. They had to stitch that inside and out and it pushed her bottom teeth back."
Raelynn Liming before after Sunday's bite.
The dog's owners were able to restrain the animal during the attack, police said.
Liming was taken to Clermont Mercy Hospital before she was flown to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Knauber said he is grateful that doctors were able to send her home so soon and that she wasn't hurt more severely. He said he hopes the dog, named Thor, is put down.
Animal Control officials ordered Thor to be quarantined for 10 days at the Clermont County Animal Shelter.
Thor’s owner, Dennis Grant, then has a choice: He can turn the dog over to authorities to be put down, or he can keep the dog with multiple restrictions.
(UPDATE: On Aug. 5, the Clermont County Animal Shelter confirmed that the owners of the pit bull that attacked the girl was euthanized. It had been in quarantine since the attack. Owner Dennis Grant still faces a charge for a "vicious dog attack.")
"(Thor) must be labeled as a vicious dog – a dangerous dog,” said Clermont County Animal Shelter Director Bonnie Morrison. “He must have a tag. He must buy a license that says he is a dangerous dog. He must keep that dog tethered or on a leash at all times."
McKayla Foerster said she was in her room the night of the attack when she heard Liming’s screams.
She said she was surprised by the attack because Thor is “gentle.”
"All the neighborhood kids, he always gets on his line and they all come up and play with him,” Foerster said. “I don't know what happened. He's always here with kids."
But Liming’s grandmother, Kathy Liming, said she thinks pit bulls should never be near children.
"It's a terrible thing,” she said. “I just don't think pit bulls ought to be around kids. You never know when they're going to turn on you. It turned on my granddaughter and I'm very upset about it."
Grant faces a vicious dog charge over his dog’s actions and will have to appear in Clermont County Municipal Court.
The attack on Liming happened within hours of another pit bull attack that killed a 7-month-old baby in Dayton.