Toddler hospitalized after dog attack in Florida City

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 3-year-old girl is on the road to recovery after, police said, she was attacked by a neighbor’s large dog that had escaped from her neighbor’s Florida City home, Friday night.

According to Florida City Police, Sani Julian and her father, Michael Green, were walking to a nearby convenience store to buy milk when a mastiff mix bit the girl, just before 8:30 p.m.

Investigators said the canine escaped its home by tearing through a gate. The 2-year-old animal ran outside the residence, located along the 1200 block of Northwest Eighth Place, and lunged at the victim.

Green said he did everything he could to get Zeus, his neighbor’s pet, off his daughter, to no avail. “I hit him inside the head, but that didn’t do no good. He was aggressive,” he said.

Green told 7News the dog’s owner came to help. They both tried to stop the mauling, but officials said the animal bit Sani on her back, side and one of her legs.

“It took him a while to get [the dog] off, about four or five minutes,” said Green.

When asked to describe Zeus’ size, Green said estimated the animal’s weight to be about “80, 75 pounds.”

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue airlifted the girl to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where she underwent emergency surgery. Something about her appendix, they’ve got to cut open,” said Green.

Sani is currently recovering in the intensive care unit and is listed in fair condition. Saturday morning, the toddler’s mother said she was awake and talking.

Zeus’ owner surrendered his pet to Miami-Dade Animal Services. 7News cameras captured the animal being taken out of its home and placed into a van.

Detectives interviewed the owner of the dog, as well as the girl’s father. Animal Services cited the owner with having a loose dog and the attack on the child, as well as for not having the animal up to date on its rabies vaccine.

Animal Services officials confirmed Zeus was euthanized on Saturday after his owner signed off on it.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.