ROCKINGHAM — A pair of pit bulls responsible for mauling a young girl last week will be put down, according to county officials.
County Manager Bryan Land confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the dogs’ owner, Mary Wilson, surrendered them.
Tommy Jarrell, county health and human services director, said at the dogs will be euthanized end of the mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Once an animal is surrendered by its owner, it becomes property of the Richmond County Animal Shelter, he added.
“Obviously, you couldn’t adopt those animals out,” he said.
According to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement unit, 6-year-old Haiden Prevatte was attacked by two pit bulls after getting off the bus Jan. 9 at Jessica Avenue.
David Covington told the investigating deputy that he was following the bus and saw two dogs attack the girl, according to the report. He said that he “grabbed a stick from the ditch and beat the dogs” away from the victim.
When the Animal Enforcement deputy arrived, he said the girl was with medics on the ambulance with numerous lacerations on her torso and limbs.
Haiden was flown to the UNC Hospitals trauma unit and has since been released.
Wilson was cited for failing to have one of the dogs vaccinated, which comes with a $100 fine; and for violating a county ordinance for having dogs at large, which resulted in two $50 fines, one for each dog.
Per state law, the dogs — a brown male pit bull named Buster and a brown female pit named Honey — were quarantined to check for signs of rabies, which become evident within 10 days, according to Jarrell. However, he added, the only way to truly test for the disease is to send the animal’s head to a lab for testing.
Jarrell said it would be up to Haiden’s parents if they want her to receive the rabies vaccine.
Any medical professional or law enforcement officer is required by law to report animal bites to the health department of the county where the incident took place.
“We get bite reports (nearly) every week,” Jarrell said, confirming that there have been three so far this year. He also said he’s confident that not every bite gets reported.