The Mercury; ZARA DAWTREY | April 20, 2012
The parents of a four-year-old Hobart girl are terrified she will be permanently disfigured after a dog tore her face apart in a sudden attack.
Shakila Street was playing with her sisters outside the front of their Lutana house, in a quiet cul-de-sac, on Wednesday when a dog from a nearby house wandered past.
“I was cooking dinner and my 11-year-old daughter came running inside crying hysterically, shouting that Shakila had been bitten,” the girls’ mother Rebecca Burns said yesterday.
“Shakila had patted the dog and it lunged at her, knocking her to the ground and mauling her face. The kids scared it off her and Makayla carried her inside our neighbour’s house and ran for me.”
Ms Burns said when she arrived next door a minute later blood had soaked through the white towel a neighbour was holding against Shakila’s cheek.
“She took the towel away so I could see and I just screamed,” she said.
“You could see right inside her mouth, inside her cheek. It was a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Shakila went into surgery yesterday morning, after a sleepless night for her distraught mother and father, Nick Street.
The Lenah Valley Primary School kindergarten student needed 25 stitches, several very close to her eye.
Police Acting Inspector Jason Elmer yesterday confirmed the attack was being investigated.
It is likely the the dog, a Staffordshire-pitbull cross, will be euthanised.
“The dog has to be put down,” Ms Burns said.
“No one else can be allowed to go through what we’re dealing with.”
She said her red-headed daughter had been remarkably stoic throughout the ordeal but her love of dogs had been irrevocably destroyed.
“She’s always loved them, but when we were leaving the hospital the nurses gave her a certificate for her bravery, and they were putting stickers on it.
“She said, ‘no dogs, no dog stickers,’ and it just broke my heart.
“All the kids in the street saw what happened and they’ve all been traumatised by the attack.
“Shakila’s sister came in to see her in hospital today and when she saw her face, she fainted we’ll just have to see what happens from here.”