Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

3-Year-Old Girl in Critical After Being Mauled by Family Dog: Police

A young girl is in the hospital after she was mauled by a family dog Saturday.

Police say the 3-year-old girl was visiting her grandmother at her home on the 5900 block of Washington Avenue in Philadelphia, shortly after 5 p.m. The girl was being held by her grandmother when the family dog, which police say is a Cane Corso, suddenly attacked.

"We're making the assertion that the dog got jealous that the grandmother was holding the child and the dog attacked the child, mauling it in the head area," said Philadelphia Police Captain Anthony Ginaldi.

Police say the grandmother tried to protect the girl and was bitten on the hands. The girl was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by responding police officers. She underwent surgery and is currently in critical but guarded condition, according to police.

The girl's grandmother did not need medical attention.

Ginaldi says the dog is owned by the girl's uncle who no longer lives in the home. 

"He hasn't been there for awhile and the grandmother has been taking care of the dog," he said.

Ginaldi doesn't believe any charges will be filed against the dog's owner.

"I don't think there's any criminality here at all based on what I understand," he said. "It's just a tragic incident where the grandmother was playing with her granddaughter and the dog attacked her out of jealousy." 

The dog was taken away by two animal control officers. Captain Ginaldi told NBC10 he's unsure what will happen to the animal.

"I know that they'll do an evaluation on the dog," he said. "They'll test it. The fate of the dog is gonna be in their hands."

The dog doesn't have a prior history of attacks, according to Ginaldi.

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