Local Child Mauled In Dog Attack

By Jeff Tang

(LOUISVILLE, Ky., August 22nd, 2004, 6 p.m.) -- Another dog attack in Louisville hospitalizes a ten-year-old girl. The incident occured Saturday night in Buechel Terrace. WAVE 3's Jeff Tang has more.

Kevin Kelty was watching his children play with his neighbor's german shephard, Smoky. Then before his eyes, a pleasant Saturday evening turned into a nightmarish one.

"When Kayla went around to pet it, the dog just attacked her... was just like eatin' her," said Kelty.

Kayla sustained a deep gash in her head and cuts under her eyelids. Kevin Kelty, who didn't want to appear on camera, covered her wounds until the EMS arrived.  Kayla stayed brave the whole time.

"She didn't cry once and the ambulance guys said I can't believe as bad up as she is that she didn't cry because the grownups woulda been cryin," siad Kelty.

Kayla was rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital, where she had surgery on her injuries Sunday.

The dog's owner told WAVE 3 the incident was his fault and that he wants to help with Kayla's recovery as much as possible.  According to animal control rules, Smoky will be kept indoors for ten days.

Saturday's incident renewed the concerns of some residents, who say they are staying aware of the number of large dogs in their community.

"Q:There's a lot of dogs around on the loose without leashes. How does that make you feel? A:Scared," said Cesar Hinojoza, a Buechel Terrace resident.

"These children that is in the neighborhood I believe they are in danger in so many ways because you dont' know what a dog is going to do or how they are gonna act," said Elaine Avery, another resident.

Avery says that Smoky isn't one of the problem animals, but residents say he was recently involved in fights with other dogs. It's all part of the risks this community faces.

"Anytime there's a large number of animals loose its a concern... these people must take the  responsibility of the situation themselves," said Jackie Gulbe of Metro Animal Services.

Local laws require that pets must be confined or leashed at all times. Metro Animal Services says the summer season is when dog bites are most common because owners and their pets spend more time outside.

Online Reporter:  Jeff Tang

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway