UPDATE: Girl recovering following dog attack, dog owners apologize

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email
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UPDATE 5/2/13 6:00 p.m.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Man's best friend or vicious animal? You decide.

One family says it was a vicious attack that could have been prevented, but the other says it was an accident and they are sorry.

8-year-old Arissa Kestner says she does not remember much of last Friday afternoon.

"What were you doing outside?," we asked. "Playing," she replied.

But she does remember a few things.

"I was talking to Jocelyn, and it bit me," she said.

She is talking about her grandparents' neighbor's dog.

Police say Arissa was playing outside after school when the dog broke off its chain and attacked her leaving her with serious wounds.

"When I arrived at the hospital, I was just horrified. That's the best way I can put it," said Deputy Tim Clark.

The dog's owners, Donnie and Chrystal Castle, say they got it when it was just a puppy, and they say it has been raised with their five small children. So they say they never expected anything like this to happen.

"He never did show any signs of being mean. I don't know what happened. I don't know what happened that day," said Chrystal Castle.

Police say records show the dog has attacked before.

"He had bit before but he didn't puncture or didn't have any, it was a bruising and scratching and stuff. So I thought well is she ok? Is it alright? It couldn't be that bad because he's never done that, and when he showed me the pictures I just couldn't believe it was my dog," said Castle.

She says when she saw the 11 centimeter gash in Arissa's side she was shocked.

"I'm very very sorry for Arissa. I really am because I know she'll be scared the rest of her life, and it's because of my animal," said Castle.

Arissa says she is doing better, but both families agree it is a day they never want to relive.

Police plan to charge Donnie Castle with a misdemeanor charge of harboring a vicious animal.

The Castles say they plan to have the dog euthanized.

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UPDATE 5/1/13 6:00 p.m.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - They say it was a vicious attack that left an 8-year-old girl seriously injured.

The girl's mother said she was playing outside when a pit bull attacked her, biting her several times and sending her to the hospital.

Loretta Kestner said it is a phone call no parent ever wants to receive.

"I had no idea they had a vicious dog out there," she said.

On Friday afternoon she got the call that her 8-year-old daughter Arissa had been attacked by a pit bull.

The little girl's grandparents said every day they pick her up from school. They said on Friday they did just that, and she was playing in the yard when the the pit bull came running around the neighbor's house and attacked her.

"He said when he first looked at the bite he didn't know it was as bad as it was, and he took a second look because she was crying hysterically," said Kestner.

Arissa had a bite on her side that measured 11 centimeters and another on one of her legs along with several puncture wounds.

Police say the dog belongs to Donnie Castle.

He was not home Wednesday when we tried to contact him, but Kestner said he did not seem sorry for what happened.

"Any person that came on his property was fair game. That was his words to the police," said Kestner.

Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said this is not the first time they have had problems with Castle's dog.

"Occasionally we'll get a call from a neighbor, 'It's loose. it's up here chasing our kids. We're afraid it's going to hurt somebody.' And apparently Friday it did," said Sheriff Price.

He said they are taking the case to the county attorney.

Castle could face a misdemeanor charge of harboring a vicious animal. If charged Castle could face up to 90 days in jail.

Animal control picked up the dog. It is being tested for rabies.

Arissa's family said she is doing better.

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ORIGINAL STORY 5/1/13

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/WSAZ) - A young girl is recovering after the Johnson County Sheriff's Office says she was attacked by a pit bull.

Deputy Sheriff Tim Clark says the 8 year old was playing in the Nippa Community of Johnson County on Friday afternoon, after she got out of school.

He says a pit bull that was tied up at a home about 70 feet away from where she was playing broke its chain, ran toward her and attacked her.

Clark says there is no evidence at this time to show that the girl provoked the dog.

He says she was bitten on the leg and on her side, injuries Clark described as brutal and graphic.

The girl was taken to the hospital and is now recovering at home.

Clark tells us this isn't the first time the dog has attacked a child. He says the owner provided him with documentation, showing the dog attacked another child in February.

Clark says when he spoke with the owner, he had no remorse or concern for the little girl who was bitten and commented that if kids go on his property, they are fair game.

Animal control currently has the dog quarantined.

Clark says if the dog is not put down, his goal is to make sure the dog is contained in a secure enclosure with a fence.

Clark has presented the case to the county attorney and asked for a charge of harboring a vicious animal against the owner. That is a misdemeanor.

We asked Clark about laws surrounding dogs in Johnson County. He says at the county level, there are no leash laws.


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