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A 5-year-old girl is gradually recuperating after being mauled by a 60-pound dog that bit her on the face multiple times last week at a park in Fort Lauderdale, her dad said Monday.
Florian Alexander Becker, 47, told the Miami Herald that his baby girl’s road to recovery has been slow but steady. She sustained several lacerations, which required more than 50 stitches and staples to her face, shoulders, back and scalp, Becker detailed to WSVN 7 News.
“The swelling is going down, and right now there is no sign of infection,” he said.
But despite the sliver of good news, Becker added that it’s too early to know the extent of his daughter’s injuries.
“We don’t know if she has nerve damage to her face; we don’t know how she and her brother will take this psychologically,” he said.
How the attack went down
According to a Fort Lauderdale police report, Amanda Ruth Chalfant, the girl’s mother, told her husband that she was in the playground area of Hortt Park, 1700 SW 14th Ct., on Feb. 7 when a woman with a leashed brown dog approached her and her daughter.
The woman, whose name authorities haven’t released, began conversing with Chalfant. Then before she realized it, the canine started attacking her daughter, according to the report. The mother noted the woman tried to hold back the dog but the leash or collar broke.
“The dog continued the attack as the adults attempted to remove [it] from the child,” the report states.
The women ultimately were able to get the dog away from the child, and Chalfant rushed her daughter to the hospital.
What’s next for the owner and her canine?
It’s unclear what could happen to the woman but, so far, police haven’t announced criminal charges against her.
As for her mixed breed, 6-year-old dog, Broward County’s Animal Care Division impounded it Saturday night.
“[The dog’s] likely outcome is humane euthanasia,” said Emily Wood, director of animal care.
Miami Herald staff writer Devoun Cetoute contributed to this report.
This story was originally printed February 13, 2023, 8:13 PM.