Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Florida: Three-year-old recovering from dog attack on Easter Sunday

LAKELAND, FLORIDA — Three-year-old Londyn Williams remained hospitalized at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday evening recovering from numerous dog bites suffered during an attack outside her home Sunday afternoon.

Her grandmother, Sheila Williams, said "Londyn and her sister Tamiah were outside playing like they always do. I had just stepped in the house and I heard screaming. I got outside and my 7-year-old granddaughter was screaming, ‘the dogs got Londyn! The dogs got Londyn!’ "

Williams said one dog had grabbed the preschooler by her head and the other dog had grabbed her by her leg and "they were shaking her, like a rag doll."

The owner of the two large dogs also heard the screams and was able to get the dogs off the little girl, Williams said.

Scott Wilder, a Polk County Sheriff's Office and Animal Control spokesman, said the owner, Kaosha Smith, of 1806 Greenwood Street West in Lakeland, voluntarily surrendered the dogs and both have been humanely euthanized.

Emergency workers were unable to airlift the child because of an approaching storm so she was taken by ambulance to Tampa General, Williams said.

Londyn’s mother, Javon Williams, said the little girl has staples in her head and stitches in her legs, buttocks, side and elbow. Her face is badly bruised and scratched.

The Animal Control report describes a large laceration to her head, requiring 10 staples, and numerous puncture wounds.

Speaking from her daughter’s hospital bedside, Javon Williams said she hopes to be able to take Londyn back to the family home on Greenwood Street if not today then on Thursday.

"It was Easter Sunday. We had been to church that morning and had had a wonderful time that day," Sheila Williams said. "The girls had been playing with their Easter baskets and then they wanted to go outside to play. "

It was a terrible end to what had been a lovely day, she said.

"Thank God she is still alive," her grandmother said.

The dog attack was also traumatic for Tamiah, her grandmother said. "She kept saying , ‘I couldn’t help her, I couldn’t help her.’ I told her, ‘you helped by screaming. That brought help.’ "

The dogs live next door and when outside are typically behind a fence, Javon Williams said. "We don’t know how the dogs got out."

Wilder said the investigation is ongoing. Smith was cited for failure to have the dogs vaccinated and tagged, and for her dogs roaming at large and causing injury to a person, he said.

He said although the dogs' bodies are being tested for rabies as a precaution, the dogs were not showing symptoms of the deadly disease.

Because the dogs were surrendered and have been euthanized, there will be no civil hearing to determine whether the dogs were aggressive, Wilder said.

Sheila Williams said her granddaughter "is in a lot of pain, but she is a tough little girl."

Note: In her GoFundMe, the mother identified the dogs as pit bull mixes so that's what I'm going with.

(The Ledger - April 3, 2018)