Mom of Miami Twp. girl attacked by dog testifies in support of stricter penalties for owners

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Savannah Coleman was 8 when she was attacked by a neighbor?€™s dog as she played.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The mother of a little girl mauled by a dog is fighting for tougher punishment for owners of dogs that attack people.

Savannah Coleman was 8 when she was attacked by a neighbor’s dog as she played.

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The dog, identified as a pit bull mix, knocked her down, dragged her around and repeatedly bit her head, forcing doctors to do surgery to repair the massive damage.

Her mom told lawmakers about the horror of seeing and hearing what happened to her daughter.

Tierney Dumont says her family’s life changed on July 28.

She recalled running to find her daughter bleeding so badly it turned her shorts from white to red.

“I remember the blood moving down her legs and splattering onto her Adidas,” Dumont told lawmakers.

Dumont testified in from the Ohio House of Representatives criminal justice subcommittee in Columbus Wednesday morning.

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She said her daughter needed a blood transfusion during a four-hour surgery that repaired a skull fracture and nine deep lacerations to her head, two more to her hand and an ear cut in three places.

“This is something that could have killed Savannah,” said Dumont. “Luckily, a good Samaritan choked the dog and removed it from her head.”

She said every nerve in her daughter's head was severed and that she still has severe headaches and requires physical and emotional therapy.

Miamisburg Rep. Niraj Antani is sponsoring a bill that would impose more severe punishment for owners of dogs that attack.

Dog wardens and prosecutors from around the state also spoke at the hearing.

Dumont says the owner of the dog that attacked Savannah received a minor misdemeanor and paid a $120 fine.

She’s urging lawmakers to pass Antani’s proposed revision to make the definitions of a vicious or dangerous dog clearer and make the punishment for their owners more severe.

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“Listen to our pleas for harsher punishment for dog owners when they attack so maybe another child won’t go through what Savannah went through,” Dumont said.

The owner of the dog that attacked Savannah did turn the dog over to the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center where the dog was quarantined and euthanized.

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