A dog that tore a large gash in a 4-year-old Spokane Valley girl’s cheek was declared a dangerous by animal control officials last week.
Amanda Poulos and her brother, Sean, 10, were playing in the snow when the dog attacked the 38-pound girl, according to a report filed by animal control officer Jennifer Kline.
The dog, a 40-pound Australian shepherd, jumped at Poulos and clamped onto the girl’s face, ripping a long cut from the right corner of her mouth into her cheek, according to the report.
Poulos received 19 stitches at Valley Hospital and Medical Center and was released, following the Dec. 13 incident. The attack happened about 4:45 p.m., in front of the dog’s home at 805 N. Sargent.
Animal control officials deemed the dog dangerous early last week.
“We don’t feel it was provoked and we have a severe injury,” said Nancy Sattin, county animal control director. “Basically, we’d be negligent if we didn’t declare it dangerous.”
Michael L. Phillips, the dog’s owner, told Sattin they believe Poulos’ injury was the result of a scratch. Phillips has appealed the dangerous dog designation.
Sattin said Poulos was familiar with the dog. The dog is being confined at the Spokane County Animal Control shelter until an appeal hearing before a county commissioner is completed. The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3.
If the appeal is denied, Phillips would be required to build an enclosed cage, post warning signs and buy insurance before he could get the dog back.