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4-year-old injured in dog attack

Winter Rose Eady's parents pull the chow mix away from the girl's face after the attack in a relative's house.

By CHRISTOPHER GOFFARD

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 1999


HUDSON -- The dog gave no warning.

Winter Rose Eady, 4, was standing in a relative's kitchen when the chow mix -- placid only moments before -- knocked her down and seized her face in its teeth, according to family members who witnessed the Saturday afternoon attack on Palatine Drive.

"He would have killed her," said the girl's mother, Frances Eady, 34, who broke all her fingernails prying the dog off the screaming girl. "He was going to shake her like a rag doll."

Tuesday, after a plastic surgeon had tried to repair the damage, evidence of the attack still was fresh on the girl's face, the left side marked with gashes and scars, an eye swollen shut.

"She looked in the mirror and said, "I'm ugly now,' " said her mother. "We say they're just boo-boos. She asks us if we still love her." Since the attack, Mrs. Eady said, the girl has been shy around strangers, ashamed to show her face.

It's too soon to tell what permanent damage the girl might have suffered, the family said, though the dog did not puncture her eye.

Frances Eady said she was cleaning the Palatine Drive home of her aunt between 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday when the dog, which belongs to the aunt and goes by the name "Bear," loped casually into the kitchen where she was standing with her daughter.

"He just pounced on her and grabbed her face in his mouth," she said. "I saw the whole thing, but he grabbed her face before I could grab him." Wresting the dog away, the mother twisted her fingers into its flesh.

The girl's father, Asa Eady, 36, pinned the dog with his knee. Then they rushed the girl to the emergency room at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

The family said the attack was unprovoked.

"What makes me so damn mad is she's the sweetest child on Earth, and I'm not prejudiced," Asa Eady said. "She's the sweetest there ever was."

He said he wishes he'd killed the dog when he had a chance. It is being quarantined for rabies, said Denise Hilton, manager of Pasco County Animal Control.

The aunt said to own the dog could not be reached for comment. Authorities reported two other dog attacks Monday.

Just after 6 p.m. at 9424 Loras Drive in New Port Richey, a 64-year-old woman was riding her bicycle when two pit bullterriers attacked her, biting her legs, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. The owner of the dogs said they were secured in the back yard but must have got out by digging under the fence, the report said.

Hilton, the animal control manager, said the woman received sutures on both legs.

About an hour after that attack, another chow mix attacked a 14-year-old boy who was walking near a house at 6613 Celeste Lane, said New Port Richey Police Capt. Martin Rickus.

The boy suffered puncture wounds to the left hand and hip and three tears to the left calf, Rickus said. He said the boy, who apparently was familiar with the dog, said the animal had never acted violently toward him before.


-- Staff writer Christopher Goffard is the police reporter in Pasco County. He can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6236 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6236. His e-mail address is goffard@sptimes.com.

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