The Washington Post

Charles County girl is badly injured in attack

Correction: An earlier version of this story that described the three dogs at the scene of the attack as a pit bull, a bulldog and an Italian hunting dog was based on information initially released by the Charles County Sheriff’s office the evening of the attack. The sheriff’s office later clarified that the breeds were two Presa Canarios (a Spanish guard dog) and one bulldog.

A 5-year-old Charles County girl was in critical condition late Wednesday after a vicious dog attack, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Police said the girl was in the care of her mother’s boyfriend when she wandered unsupervised into the back yard of her home in the 8600 block of Billingsley Road in the Waldorf area. Police who were called to the scene around 6 p.m. found the little girl lying naked on the ground and covered in wounds.

“The dogs had ripped the clothes right off of her,” said Charles County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Diane Richardson. “She was suffering from multiple dog bites, lacerations and other injuries on her face, neck and body.”

The girl was airlifted to Children’s National Medical Center in the District, where she was listed in critical condition.

Richardson said the girl and her mother had recently moved into the man’s home, and he kept three dogs: a bulldog and two Presa Canarios (a Spanish guard dog) — in a kennel in the back yard. It was unclear which or how many of the dogs were involved in the attack, Richardson said.

“We have a lot to do in terms of the investigation to try and find out what happened,” she said.

The home’s back yard has a chain-link fence and a privacy fence in addition to the fenced-in dog kennel, Richardson said. She added that investigators do not yet know whether the dogs were in their kennel when the attack occurred, or loose in the back yard.

Charles County animal control officers removed the dogs from the home, and investigators were trying to determine whether there had been any animal-control complaints at the address before Wednesday evening.

Annie Gowen is The Post’s India bureau chief and has reported for the Post throughout South Asia and the Middle East.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.