Cottonwood Heights police say the girl was taken to the emergency room Tuesday night where she received 40-stitches.
“She’s doing okay,” says Sgt. Corbett. "She was bitten in the lip, the upper leg and also on her foot."
Sgt. Corbett says the 5-year old pit bull was leashed and tethered to a tree when the girl came to pet the animal. Prior to that police say the girl was at the home with the dog's owner and was petting the dog. But Sgt. Ford says the girl returned later and attempted to pet the dog again without the owner present.
“We don't know if the dog got spooked,” says Sgt. Corbett. “If he was protecting his territory while he was chained up. But at some point something caused the dog to jump up."
At K-9 Lifeline Training in Draper, dogs are brought here to help them socialize with their owners, people and other dogs. The owner of the training center says there are several possibilities why the pit bull bit the girl.
"Training could be a contributing factor, socialization, how well is the dog socialized with people and other dogs,” says Heather Beck of K-9 Lifeline Training. “And also even a contributing factor could be the approach of the girl. How did she approach the dog, not every dog wants to be petted."
Because the dog was on its property and chained properly, police didn't find the owner to be negligent. But he was given a citation for creating what they call "a nuisance."
Police plan to give the dog back to him after a mandatory quarantine session.
Beck says the dog can’t be blamed for this.
"I would say the dog is the least to blame,” says Beck. “It doesn't seem to me very responsible to have a dog chained up in the front yard where people can move towards the dog without being supervised."
She says police should recommend the owner of the pit bull get training for the dog as a condition for his release.