A Lamar County toddler is attacked by a pit bull

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

Lamar County, MS (WDAM) - A Lamar county toddler is lucky to be alive after being mauled by a neighbor's pit bull last Friday.

"In an instant the dog had my baby by the face,"said Frederick Balshee."

It all happened when Frederick, his wife Catelynn and their 7 month old daughter Lexy were in their neighbor's  house across the street. Lexy was playing on the floor while Frederick, the homeowner and her pit bull were on the couch.

"I kept asking her periodically is my baby going to be okay over here?  according to Frederick, his neighbor said, yes she will be fine just watch Bo and watch his actions."

Frederick said, out of no where the pit bull leaped onto Lexy and nearly took off part of her face.

The dog's owner who just so happens to be a Hattiesburg Police Officer managed to tackle the pit and pull him off, but the Belshee's say her actions after that weren't so quick.

"My wife went running out the door screaming searching for her car keys and the officer has her squad car there, it is a take home car, she could of taken my daughter to the emergency room in it  but she stood there on her porch for a minute not knowing what to do."

The officer ended up driving the Belshee's to the emergency room where doctors spent hours re- attaching a good portion of Lexy's face.

Catelynn Balshee said she couldn't stop crying, asking Doctor's to make sure they helped her baby.

"You know it's literally just heartbreaking."

"It was such a traumatic event, Frederick added, "I can't even drive down the street and come home without feeling sick."

Lexy's surgery was successful but doctor's say she will need a few more to hopefully avoid permanent scarring.

As for the dog, the Belshee's said, they were told by investigators with the Lamar County Sheriff's Department the dog would have to be put down by Aug. 31. Sheriff Danny Rigel said, because the attack happened in a private residence, the Belshee's would have to go to court to decide the dog's fate.

Seven on your side attempted to contact the dog's owner  but  she was advised not to comment on the situation.  However, according to the police report taken the day of the attack, she did say she had plans to put the dog down.

The Bellshee family plans to pursue legal action against their neighbor.  In the meantime, Lexy's grandmother Cheri will work on getting a law passed in honor of her granddaughter, which would protect every child from aggressive dogs like the one that attacked Lexy.

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