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Vicious Dog Shot to Save Toddler

Originally ran here as:
Toddler recovering after attack by pit bull
by Gainsville Sun
August 22, 2001

LAKE WALES, FLORIDA -- A 2-year-old was in fair condition Tuesday recovering from injuries suffered in an attack by a pit bull that was later killed.

Summer Henson was being treated at St. Joseph's Hospital for deep puncture wounds of the neck, bites on her arm and leg and scrapes and bruises from being dragged.

The dog, named Roscoe, jumped through a window and broke out of the porch to escape the house where he was being confined. He then burrowed under a fence and ran free through the neighborhood on Sunday, animal control officers said.

Summer was among a group of children playing outside.

Witnesses said Roscoe grabbed Summer by the neck and began dragging her down the street. Relatives heard the child's screams and an aunt's Rottweiler ran to the child, scaring Roscoe away.

A neighbor and Steve Coleman, who was taking care of the dog, shot Roscoe, said Michal Shanley, spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Roscoe was already considered a dangerous dog because he had bitten someone else. Owner Marie Lessler was to keep the animal in a secure area. The dog had been staying at Coleman's house until Lessler built a pen for him.
-- The Associated Press

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