Chardon baby injured while caught in middle of dog fight

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CHARDON, Ohio- A 7-month-old was severely injured when she was caught in the middle of a dog fight at a house in Chardon.

The girl suffered head trauma from the dog fight at about 8:30 p.m. Monday at a home on Court Street, according to the police report.

A neighbor said she heard the mother screaming and rushed to help. She told Fox 8 News the girl had several gashes on her head and eye.

"The adrenaline kicked in and it was all just help this baby. I wasn't even thinking. It was just control the bleeding and help as much as you can," Kimberly Willman said.

The infant was taken to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, then flown to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Police described the dogs as an American bulldog and a mixed-breed terrier. They were taken from the home to Geauga County’s Animal Shelter Tuesday night, Warden Matt Granito said. The child's mom told neighbors they were fighting over a tennis ball.

Neighbors said one of the dogs at the home was “aggressive” and “scary.”

“When he barks, you know you don’t want to mess with that kind of a dog,” Willman said.

Jessica Bryant, who lives next door to the home where the attack happened, said her husband called the Dog Warden’s office to complain about the dog before.

“It'll break its chain barking at us, trying to get to us. One day, it did break its chain, but it didn’t attack anyone only because its chain got stuck in our wood,” Bryant said.

Granito said under current Ohio law, he can’t take action unless the dog leaves its owners’ property. He did, however send a warning letter to the home owner in late June.

Police did not release the name of the infant, or the adults who live with her. Niehus said it’s too early in the investigation to speak about potential charges.

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