11-Year-Old Mauled By Two Pit Bulls

By James Zambroski

(LOUISVILLE, March 24th, 2004, 1 p.m.) -- An 11-year-old girl on her way to visit a friend was viciously attacked by two Pit Bulls in a south end neighborhood Tuesday night. WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski reports.

The girl is expected to recover from the attack, but police say she could be scarred mentally for the rest of her life. She was being treated in the Kosair Emergency Room late Tuesday night. Her condition was not immediately known.

The two dogs are under quarantine at Animal Control, and a court will decide whether they are dangerous and should be destroyed.

Carla Messer, the dogs' owner, was distraught after the attack, and said she tried to protect the girl. "I know my female bit her. I was trying to hold my female. But she bit me in the process of holding her from the little girl."

Police say the girl had gone to Messer's house looking for a friend. Louisville Metro Police Officer Jim Adkins says "she knocked on the door and the dogs ran out. One actually ran out of the gate, but it came back in at some point in time, and then it jumped on her, and she began to kick and fight to get the dogs off of her."

Seeing the little girl under attack by her dogs, Messer feared the worst. "I asked the little girl not to kick and hit, because I knew she would do it."

The girl finally got away and began running toward her home. A nearby neighbor, Terlisa Alvis, a nurse, tried to help. "I got her pants leg open, and what I found was she had three bites on her leg with the meat hanging out. She had another bite on her wrist, and she had a couple on her stomach and a couple on her back."

Officer Adams found the child and called Animal Control. "These dogs are vicious," he said. "I believe that people should be able to control their animals. Sometimes those dogs can't be controlled -- I don't know. I just don't agree with those type of dogs."

This neighborhood is no stranger to vicious attacks. In October of 1999, 3-year-old Mickey Oates somehow wound up in a neighbor's back yard and was mauled to death by Rotweilers being kept as family pets.

Messer was cited by Animal Control for having dangerous animals, and voluntarily turned the animals over for quarantine, instructing officials to destroy them if necessary.

Online Reporter: James Zambroski

Online Producer: Michael Dever