FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A 17-year-old girl said she is grateful to be alive as she was attacked by a pit bull and suffered bites to her head and arm.
Vanessa Smith said she was returning home Sunday morning when somehow her neighbor’s dog escaped the backyard and attacked her.
“I guess he was thinking I was in his territory, but I was in my yard so he just came at me," Smith said.
The teen received 24 staples and a few stitches on her head wound. She suffered a bite mark and bruises on her arm.
"When I got to the hospital they said they could see my nerves and my skull and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” she said.
The dog is currently being held at the Florence County Animal Control facility under quarantined in case it has the rabies virus.
Todd Floyd, the interim Florence County Environmental Services officer over the case, said the owner wants the dog back.
However, Floyd said he plans to ask a judge that the dog be deemed dangerous and be euthanized for fear of attacking someone again.
“It’s very aggressive with everyone at this shelter that approaches the pen," Floyd said. “Lucky the lady was laying on her stomach. If she was laying on her back we could be talking about a fatality.”
As for Smith, She said her recovery is going well but said the pain is setting in as the numbering wears off.
“I can’t smile very much. I can’t make facial expressions,” Smith said.
She also said that her mental recovery will take some time.
"If I hear of a dog being outside, I’m like, ‘Oh God, I’m not going to go out there,' Smith said.
Floyd said if the dog is returned to its owner and attacks someone again, the owner will face a $1,000 fine or up to 30 days in jail.