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Mom shoots dog that attacked 6-year-old girl

May 19, 2010 12:59:23 AM PDT
A mother in Lake Forest shot and wounded a dog Wednesday that had attacked her 6-year-old daughter in front of their home. The girl was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.The 6-year-old girl was playing with her 3-year-old sister in the driveway of their home in the 22000 block of Marylhurst Court when the dog attacked her, according to Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The girls' mother heard both her daughters screaming just before 11 a.m. and rushed outside.

"We came around the corner to see this dog on top of my 6-year-old daughter? mauling her, biting her. She was screaming," said Jennifer Cooper, the girls' mother.

Cooper's 14-year-old son then ran over and started punching the dog, believed to be a boxer. A neighbor also rushed over to try to scare the dog away, spraying the animal with Windex.

"It was horrifying. I sprayed it in its eyes, it kept at me, kept at me and I got a shovel and it was chasing off the kids," said neighbor Lisa Horner.

The dog eventually released the girl, and Cooper rushed the children back into the house. The dog continued to approach the mother and lunged at her 1-year-old child.

"[It] grabbed his pant leg, knocked him down and then got on top of the baby. It scared me to death. The baby has no chance against a dog that size," said Cooper.

She said the dog wouldn't go away, and it took up a menacing position on the porch, so she got her 9-mm Glock and shot the canine.

"My adrenaline was pounding so much I don't know if he was growling but he just wasn't leaving," said Cooper. "I looked behind the dog, there was no one else out in the street and I shot him once in chest."

The wounded dog fled across the street and was captured by authorities. It was then taken to a veterinarian for its wounds. Initial reports were that the dog was a pit bull, but animal control officials said the dog may be a boxer or a mix.

The 6-year-old girl was the only one injured in the incident. The girl suffered six or seven bites to the face, legs, shoulder and arm. She was treated at the scene by paramedics.

Cooper, an animal lover, said she had no choice but to shoot the dog.

"That dog was a threat to my family and threat to the other children in my neighborhood, and I was just worried about what it might do once it left here," Cooper said.

Neighbors told investigators the dog had been seen around the neighborhood acting aggressively, but they don't know the identity of the owner.

"My honest opinion is the mother had every right to shoot the dog," said neighbor Tom Knie.


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