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Alabaster girl attacked by dog; looks to change laws

(abc3340.com)

"I just can't hold myself together when I see a big dog," says A'Dayah Radford with tears in her eyes. She carries emotional and physical scars from a severe dog attack in October. She was visiting her neighbor's children when the Husky lunged at her biting her cheek.

The Alabaster fourth grader missed a month of school recovering. She's even had to give up her love of dancing for now to give her wound time to heal. Later she will need skin grafts and laser surgery. "I'm scared half to death," explains A'Dayah. She's even scared in her own fenced back yard when she hears the dog barking. The attack was horrifying enough, now the family says they live in fear because the dog still lives in the home next door.

The owner refuses to get rid of the husky. "Everyone is in fear. This is not the first attack from this dog and they're still letting kids go over there," says A'Dayah's mom, Laura Wyatt. She says had she known about the husky, she would have never let her daughter go visit.

Wyatt says animal control, police and state lawmakers all told her the same thing: there is nothing they can do. "We want a law passed in Alabama for situations like this. A lot of people think a dog is put down after an attack; that's not the case," explains Wyatt. The only requirement is a ten day quarantine if there is no proof of a rabies vaccine.

In a phone interview with ABC3340 News the dog's owner, Louis Rodriguez, called the incident a "terrible accident." He contends his male dog " is not vicious and there have been no other incidents." Laura Wyatt disputes that claim. Rodriguez says A'Dayah was bitten when she tried to pet the dog while he was eating. He says he has kids over at his house all the time.

"It's a little unnerving to see a dog that aggressive," says another neighbor, Heather Fowler, who has small children. "It seems a dog has more rights than a parent protecting a child," remarks Fowler.

ABC3340 News reached out to Alabaster's animal control but did not hear back. The city has a law concerning barking dogs, but nothing about dog bites. It's important to report all animal bites to the health department for documentation and tracking.

The Centers for Disease Control provides this information on preventing dog bites:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/index.html

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