An unsupervised 6-year-old girl was mauled by a pit bull inside an Oceanside apartment Tuesday, police said.
The girl and her sister were left unattended around 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at an apartment on Canyon Road when the apartment resident’s pit bull began attacking the girl, according to Oceanside Police authorities.
Lt. Leonard Mata of the Oceanside Police Department said one of the girls went to allegedly hug the dog when it attacked her.
“The sister, when the dog started biting, she ran outside to call for help,” explained Lt. Mata.
The Oceanside apartment belonged to a friend of the girls' father. The two adults reportedly left momentarily to bring in groceries, and returned to find the pit bull attacking the girl.
They pulled the dog off and called paramedics, who provided first aid to the girl while San Diego Humane Officers took custody of the dog.
The girl suffered facial and head injuries and was airlifted to Children's Hospital.
There was also a German shepherd inside the apartment where the girls were left unsupervised. Police said the dogs’ owner was not home when the attack happened.
The Oceanside Police Department's Family Protection Unit is investigating the attack. The father could face criminal charges for allegedly leaving the girls in the apartment with the animals, according to authorities.
"You can't knowingly put your child in a situation that could be dangerous. So there's a misdemeanor and felony section of that,” said Lt. Mata. “Everybody should supervise their children around animals, whether it's a poodle or a pit bull. There should be supervision. They're animals. Things can happen.”
On Wednesday, one neighbor at the Oceana Apartments where this dog attack occurred told NBC 7 San Diego she heard the girl’s screams at the time of the mauling.
“I heard some screaming and crying, but I didn't expect it to be something serious,” recalled neighbor Kayla Garcia.
Meanwhile, another neighbor said the owner of the pit bull should be held accountable for the attack on the young girl.
“Dog owners need to become more responsible and realize the seriousness of what a dog can do,” former mail carrier Teresa Casey told NBC 7 San Diego.
This is the second pit bull attack reported this month in the San Diego area. On June 14, a pit bull in Lemon Grove mauled to death an 8-month-old baby. The pit bull believed to be responsible for that attack was later euthanized.
The owners of the pit bull have not been charged in the attack.