Dad Thamar White said the crazed Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier took “chunks of flesh” out of 11-year-old daughter Tamia before its owners pulled the animal off her.
The prolonged attack began at around 8.15am last Thursday in a communal lobby of Dunedin House in Welsh House Farm Road, Quinton.
The eight-year-old dog, called AV, lived in the flat opposite the Whites with a couple who have a two-year-old daughter and another baby on the way.
SURPRISED OWNERS IN DENIAL
They insisted the pit bull named AV - short for Aston Villa - had never bitten anyone before and was “a real softie”.
But Tamia's dad and mum Arnolda Farrell insist she was not to blame.
The attack took place as the schoolgirl was leaving to go to Four Dwellings School.
Tamia bravely told the Birmingham Mail what happened next with the blessing of her parents, who asked us to obscure her face in photographs.
“I’d let myself out of the flat and was locking the door when I turned round and the dog was there,” she said .
“He was running around loose on the landing and what happened next is just a blur. I remember him grabbing hold of my leg with its mouth with so much force it wouldn’t let go."
She added: “I started screaming and tried to get back into my flat, but couldn’t because it wouldn’t let go of my leg. I was screaming my head off and that’s when both the owners came out of the door.
“The man was kicking the dog to get it off me, while the woman had to put her hand in the dog’s mouth to separate us. I can’t remember much of what happened, but I think the whole thing went on for about 10 minutes.”
Miss Farrell, 34, a case manager with a bank, praised the quick-thinking of her daughter, who was left with horrific injuries - which medics said could have been fatal.
“She was fighting the dog on her own for several minutes before anyone arrived,” she said. “Although she was terrified, she had the sense to jump up and down to try and stop the dog biting her face.
“I was at work when this happened and Tamia rang me, crying, saying she’d been attacked by a dog. I asked if an ambulance had been called and she said it hadn’t so I rang for one and also the police, then I jumped in my boss’s car and we came straight home.
“It was going to savage her to death if the owners had not run out when they did. The doctors said if it had been minutes later, she would have died.”
Tamia was taken by ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she underwent three hours of surgery.
She suffered four major bites to her left arm and both legs, muscle and nerve damage, lots of scratches and will be on crutches for three weeks.
Although she is expected to make a full recovery, she has been warned she will need skin grafts and will be scarred for life.
Mr White, aged 37, a lab technician, said she was also due have psychiatric counselling next week to help her get over the mental effect of the attack..
“Tamia’s always been terrified of dogs, we’ve never had one ourselves but there are lots of dogs in this block,” he said.
“If we’re out walking and she sees a dog, even if it’s on a lead she goes and hides behind us.”
The family said they had only seen the dog once or twice before this incident.
Miss Farrell said: “I know the owners say she’s a real softie, I don’t know if that’s the case, but softie or not, that dog attacked someone.
“Just minutes before I left the flat with my two-year-son - what if the dog had attacked him?"
She added: “My daughter wasn’t hysterical, she didn’t provoke it, the dog was always going to attack her.”
The family said what angered them the most is that the dog’s owners hadn’t shown any remorse.
“They haven’t come round to see how Tamia is or say sorry,” she said. “The only thing they seem to care about is how their daughter is missing the dog and how soon they can have it back.”
Mr White and Miss Farrell said they were now going to apply for a transfer out of the building because of the memories and also the number of dogs there.
West Midlands Police has seized the dog and launched an investigation into what happened.
(Birmingham Mail UK - Jan 23, 2017)