Dog attacks 4-year-old; Sheriff says charges won't be filed

A 4-year-old was playing in a family friend

Girl bit by dog (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Wednesday, May 13, 2014

HILDA, S.C. (WRDW) -- While many of us were spending time with our mother's Sunday, a local mom spent the day at the hospital. Her daughter was rushed from Barnwell County to the Children's Hospital so a plastic surgeon could put her four year olds face back together after a dog attack.

The little girl was playing in a family friend's yard. A dog named Zeus was tied to a tree, but that didn't stop him from sinking his teeth into Natalie's cheek. Her family wants to know why the dog isn't being put down.

Natalie's mother, Kalyn Smith says, "It was the worst Mother's Day of my life."

She says she arrived at her friend's house to find a very large razor backed American bulldog running freely in the fenced in yard. The incident report says she asked the owner, Crystal Moore, to put the dog inside.

"She said, 'Oh he's not going to bother her. Then Crystal's son chained the pit bull to the tree," Smith said.

Tiffany was playing near the tree, that's when the owner claims she heard a yelp from the dog.

"When I turned around, the baby had him by the ears," Crystal Moore said.

The mother remembers the story differently.

"She didn't even touch the dog," Smith said. "When I looked the dog was still laying down and next thing I know, he was on her like white on rice. He jumped up and bit her face."

Zeus was tied to a tree with about three feet of industrial chain when the accident happened.

Moore claims the attack was a natural reaction by a dog.

"Zeus nipped at her. When he nipped at her it was not a vicious attack," she said.

Smith said that is not true.

"Her dress was covered in blood. Her neck and everything was covered in blood. My child was screaming at the top of her lungs," she said.

A plastic surgeon had to use three stitches inside the gash and ten outside.

"My only child could've been dead yesterday because of that dog and the owner," Smith said.

Natalie's family wants the dog to be put down, but the dog's owner says he is not a danger.

"He is a part of my family and has been brought up around four children," Moore said.

A report from the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office says there can't be any charges pressed in this case because the dog was on a chain in a fenced in yard and there are no other cases of this dog biting anyone on record.

Natalie's family says they aren't through fighting this. They plan to file a civil suit against the owners.

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