Family Member Speaks Out after His 16-Month-Old Daughter Was Attacked

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- A visit to a home in Odessa ended when a 3-year-old pit bull attacked a 16-month-old Midland girl on Wednesday. Shawna Vance watched horrified as the dog lunged at her daughter's face. Vance, along with several others in the home pried the dog off the young girl.

"She will heal up just fine, but very easily it could have gone the other way," Jeremey White, the toddler's father, said in an interview on Thursday.

Odessa Police Animal Control Manager Cheryl Brom tells NewsWest 9 if a dog bites someone on private property, officers can not remove the dog. They can give a Class C Misdemeanor citation.

"We have no authority to take and remove somebody's animal when a case like this happens, in their own home," Brom said.

Animal Control Officers are still investigating the attack on Hancock Street in Odessa.

"I wish the law would change, I have seen a lot of pit bulls around and no one does anything about it," Gloria Hinojosa, who lives around the area said.

Others say if their dog attacked a child, they would put it down.

"You're going to have to because what if it happens again," Resident Carlos Gaona told NewsWest 9.

Animal Control Officers see between 300-400 dog bites in Ector County Each year, most involve children and many are on private property.

"Sometimes the owner doesn't realize how territorial their dog is," Brom said dogs can react to the way small children move, scream, or run.

Brom hopes this latest attack will prompt parents to supervise their children and force pet owners to be more careful about securing their pets when guests arrive.

"It could have been worse and I am just glad the owners were there," Brom said shaking her head.