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Customs Patrol Dog Attacks Child At Dulles Airport

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WUSA: Dulles Airport and Customs officials have confirmed that a Customs and Border Protection K9 in training attacked a 4-year-old girl just after 10am Thursday at Dulles airport.

The child was there with her mother and a younger sibling picking up a friend coming from Argentina. Officials have not yet confirmed why the dog attacked the child, but she was bitten once and received a cut that was a half inch deep and two inches wide.

The grandmother of the attacked child tells 9NEWS NOW the dog bit the girl just under her pelvis and refuse to let her go. The dog would not release her even as the handler gave the command to release.

Her mother tried to intervene when the dog attacked the child, and she received numerous bites to her hand.

The dog was eventually subdued by its handler, and the girl was transported to Reston Hospital in serious condition.

9NEWS NOW has learned that she has received more than 20 stitches to her mid section as a result of the attack.

The younger child was not involved in the attack.

The girl has been released from the hospital into the care of her family.

9NEWS NOW talked with the mother of the four year old girl.

She says, "He attacked her, pulled her to the ground and bit her in the stomach and wouldn't let go of her."

The mother says her daughter did not provoke the dog and adds that her daughter is in fact afraid of dogs and was backing away and cried out before the attack.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the dog in question is a Belgian Malinois and looks similar to a German Shepherd. Several dogs are stationed at Dulles International Airport. But K-9s going through the Front Royal Academy periodically go through training at the airport. During training, the K-9s come to the airport in teams of 7-8 dogs with their handlers. The dogs enter one at a time for each exercise in narcotics, explosives and other contraband.

Officials say these dogs are taught to be passive and if they find something suspicious they sit and wait. They say they're not taught to be aggressive.

But the family says in this incident the dog did attack their 4-year-old daughter and wouldn't let go, taking a chunk of the little girl's flesh near her stomach.

The girl's mom says, "You feel helpless when your child is on the floor and you can't take the animal off your child and you're screaming can't get this dog to release your child it's, very hard."

Mom believes the dog training is good but says there should be added precautions such as wearing muzzles and keeping them away from children.

She says, "My daughter is going to remember this for the rest of her life and there will be a big scar on her belly to show for it."

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Vanessa March 2, 2010, 7:31 AM

Absolutely horrible :\

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