Child injured, dog killed following dog attack in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A child has been injured and a dog has died after a large dog attacked the child and the canine while out for a walk in their Miami Beach neighborhood.

The attack happened in the area of North Bay Road and West 51st Street at around 3 p.m., Thursday.

“Nothing is going to fix this and erase this from my mind and my kids’ minds, but I think that for the sake of our neighborhood that this dog needs to be removed from the neighborhood,” Vanessa Ressler said. “It’s not safe, and it’s not fair, but there is really no, there’s no fixing it.”

Surveillance video shows Nili, Ressler’s 6-year-old daughter, riding a scooter with her babysitter alongside Mendi, their family pet.

A large dog, named Julie, then could be seen knocking down the girl riding the scooter, biting her and then violently shaking and killing Mendi.

According to Ressler, Mendi suffered “several spinal fractures” and “punctures in his organs.”

The 6-year-old was taken to the emergency room with a puncture wound.

Gary Ressler, the girl’s father, rushed out of the home with a palm frond to chase the attacking dog away.

“My daughter had blood running out of her leg, and her babysitter was panicking and hysterical,” he said. “I heard the screaming from my home office and came running out. [Mendi] was completely eviscerated. It was ugly. It was the most brutal thing I’ve seen.”

The dog that attacked escaped from George Heisel’s yard. He said Julie is also a rescue and did his best to keep Julie secured in the yard.

“She somehow jumped on some rocks and jumped over a 6-foot wall,” he said. “I’m really sorry. We’re really sorry.”

This is the second time the same dog has attacked in the neighborhood. In September 2019, Julie bit a woman and another family pet. The dog required surgery but survived.

“We know it’s an animal, but it really is a family member to us, and it’s a deep loss,” Vanessa said.

The Ressler family said it is past time for the dog to leave the area and have filed a report with Miami Beach Police.

Miami-Dade Animal Services responded to the home on Friday to conduct interviews and to photograph the 6-year-old’s wound.

A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Animal Services released a statement that reads, “The animal services department is actively investigating a bite incident. The owner of the dog was cited for allowing the dog to run at large and for causing injury to a human or domestic animal. The dog has been placed under quarantine at the owner’s home. Further action is pending negotiation with the attorney representing the family of the bite victim.”

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