Mom of 4-year-old dog bite victim warns other parents

Carolina in the hospital after the dog attack
Carolina in the hospital after the dog attack
Even though she was hurt, she still smiles for the camera
Even though she was hurt, she still smiles for the camera

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When kids and dogs get together, there's always a chance the child could get bitten. It happened to a four year old girl from Watson.

She told WAFB Medical Correspondent Phil Rainier, "I'm not scared of little dogs..."

But, Carolina won't go near big dogs. With good reason, she was attacked by one.  Her mother, Falone Cole remembers what happened.  The dog..."had her pinned to the ground with his mouth which is big as his head and just slinging her left and right."

A part of her nose and areas around the left eye were ripped in the attack and had to be stitched back together. Her mom says she was lucky. "The doctor said if the tooth would have been a millimeter closer her eye ball would have been severed and we would have lost her eye."

The dog that attacked Carolina was a family friend's pet. It had never bitten anyone. In fact, before it happened Carolina's mom says the two had been playing much of the day without a problem.

Provoked or unprovoked, experts say even the most well behaved dogs are capable of biting. They say children should never be allowed to play with one without adult supervision.  Carolina's mom echoes that advice and adds, "I feel like if I go to someone's house and they have a dog it should be okay for me to ask them to put your dog away without being made to feel like I'm being rude."

Carolina still has to undergo cosmetic surgery to minimize scarring. By sharing her story, mom Falone hopes parents and dog owners will be even more aware of what can happen when dogs and kids are together...and do what's necessary to lower the risk of dog bites.  The physical scars may fade in time, but Carolina's fear of big dogs could last a lifetime.

It doesn't matter what breed, all dogs a capable of biting.

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