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Girl, 5, critically injured in Maryland dog attack

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A 5-year-old girl was critically injured in a dog attack in Charles County, officials said.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, officers found the girl in the back yard of her home in the 8600 block of Billingsley Road. The girl was unconscious, with lacerations to the neck and bite wounds on her face and upper body. All of her clothes had been ripped off and were scattered, Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said.

The girl was flown to Children's National Medical Center. Her condition was critical Thursday afternoon, but she has been improving. Richardson said that the sheriff's office has come across dog attacks before, but that Wednesday's incident was particularly vicious.

"The little girl was mauled," she said.

The child and her mother had moved into the home about a month ago in order to live with the mother's boyfriend, Richardson said. At the time of the attack, the girl and the mother's boyfriend were supposed to be leaving to pick up the mother.

The boyfriend went to look for the girl and found her unconscious in the backyard. He also found two of the three pet dogs nearby: an English bulldog and a Presa Canario, a Spanish breed of dogs that can top 100 pounds. The third dog, another Presa Canario, was found inside a locked kennel in the backyard.

Richardson said that it is unclear whether the girl let the dogs out of the kennel or if the animals were already out of it. It is also unclear whether the girl was attacked by one or both of the dogs who were outside of the kennel.

All three dogs were taken into the custody of Charles County animal control officers, and the two that were found near the girl were euthanized, officials said.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident, and no charges have been filed as of Thursday afternoon.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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