Pit bull attacks mother, daughter; dog to be euthanized

Posted 9/30/09

Jamie Fico, who is six months pregnant, received an alarming surprise on the afternoon of April 16. She said, “The neighbor down the road came knocking on the door screaming. She doesn’t speak …

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Pit bull attacks mother, daughter; dog to be euthanized

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Jamie Fico, who is six months pregnant, received an alarming surprise on the afternoon of April 16. She said, “The neighbor down the road came knocking on the door screaming. She doesn’t speak English very well. I came out to find out what’s going on and she tells me, 'The dog bites in the woods.' So now, I’m hearing about a dog bite, I’m pregnant, so I put my daughter in the car and I drive down there,” a short distance away from her Smallwood home.

“Then, the little girl from across the street comes out of the woods covered in blood, wounds all over her, literally from the neck down.” The five-year-old, named Charm, had been attacked by the family dog, a pit bull.

“I grabbed a blanket, wrapped her up and called 911 ... I only had two hands to apply pressure, I was doing the best I could, I put her in my car.”

The ambulance wouldn’t come down the road because Jamie did not known where the dog was, and the dog had also attacked the child’s mother. So Jamie drove to meet the ambulance.

It turned out the mom was in the woods, holding the dog, so her daughter could be safely removed from the scene.

Jamie contacted Joanne Gerow, the long-serving dog control officer for Liberty, Fallsburg and Sullivan County, who came down immediately. As the two talked to a reporter the next day Gerow said, “I took custody of the dog to relieve the family of the responsibility and to ensure public safety.”

After securing the necessary releases, the dog was scheduled to be transported to Youngsville Veterinary Clinic to be euthanized.

Asked if it was rare for a pit bull to turn on its family, Gerow said, “It’s not something that happens every day, but I will tell you that when these pit bulls go awry it seems that it becomes very significant, the attacks are profound. This is the fourth one that I’ve had involving a pit bull, and I call them maulings, the mom and the daughter were absolutely mauled. The little girl received close to 100 stitches, the mother received over 40. So I am fine with euthanizing this dog, I feel it’s the best thing for everybody, he’s a danger.”

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