A 7-year-old girl is in critical but stable condition after she was bitten 100 times by four Staffordshire bull terrier-cross dogs at the home of a family friend.
Sakurako Uehara, who is a Japanese girl living in New Zealand, will have to have repeated surgeries from now until she is an adult in order to repair the damage to her body, according to doctors. The dogs have been euthanized since the attack and everyone from police to concerned observers are wondering how this could have happened.
The poor little girl was reportedly conscious throughout the attack and was bitten all over her body, according to authorities. The thought that this child had to endure such pain at the hands of animals she was probably trying to play with couldn't be sadder.
With that said, we still don't know enough about this incident. We know that the dogs belonged to friends of the family whom the family was visiting, but were there any adults present while Sakurako was in the company of the animals? Were her parents watching her? Did anyone try to stop the dogs from attacking her? We all know accidents can happen in the blink of an eye with children, particularly when they are around animals. No matter how gentle one is or may seem, there is always the possibility that it will misinterpret a child's actions and attack out of fear or self-defense.
The girl's family released a statement saying Sakurako was their only daughter and that they have a long journey ahead of them. They asked people to keep their little girl in their prayers. Police say they are investigating whether to lay criminal charges against the dog's owners or anyone else.
Thank goodness Sakurako is okay, though it sounds as if she is going to have to deal with the repercussions of this nightmare for many years to come. We hope she recovers as quickly as possible so she can enjoy a normal, healthy childhood.
Do you have dogs and children? How do you ensure your child is safe around them?
Image via seawild/Flickr