WAGGAMAN, La. - Authorities are investigating a pit bull attack that sent three people to the hospital, including a 4-year-old girl.
The attack happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday inside a home in the 30 block of Sarah Street in Waggaman.
A 5-year-old female pit bull attacked two women inside the home, then bit a 4-year-old girl's arm, which appeared to have been broken, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“I was very surprised,” said neighbor Elizabeth Carmona. “I have to say he's the most responsible pit bull owner that I know.”
The girl's father owns the dog. Jefferson Parish authorities say he wasn't home at the time.
“As soon as he came he ran to the ambulance and he just fell to his knees.”
Just before the attack, the little girl opened a door leading into a bedroom where the dog and her puppies were staying, said Fortunato.
That's when the dog ran out and bit a 33-year-old woman in the leg and a 37-year-old woman in the arm, Fortunato said. When the adults tried to grab the little girl, the dog lunged for her as well, Fortunato said.
Neighbors say the wounds appeared to be deep, possibly to the bone. All three victims were hospitalized, and authorities say their injuries are non-life threatening.
As for the dog, animal control officers took her and the five puppies to the Jefferson Parish Shelter. There no issues handling the pit bull, said Robin Beaulieu, director of the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.
Neighbors caution against vilifying the breed.
“She has not done anything like that before. She's been in the backyard and my cats roam in the backyard,” said Carmona.
It's not the first report of an attack at the home. Two weeks ago, authorities received a call from the home that a stray pit bull bit someone, but patrol officers found no strays, said Beaulieu.
Meanwhile, neighbors say a second, male pit bull remains in the home and was not involved in the attack.
The pit bull that attacked is in a 10-day rabies quarantine, per state law, said Beaulieu.
If the owner surrenders her, the dog will likely be euthanized. If the dog is not surrendered, she can return to her owner and it will be up to the courts to determine her future.