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Authorities investigated a “bizarre” incident last week in which a 10-year-old girl’s toes were chewed off by the family dog while she slept in their south suburban home.
Around 7 a.m. on Dec. 22, the girl yelled that her foot was bleeding when her mother came into her room to wake her up for school, the Joliet Herald-News is reporting. The woman saw all of the toes were missing from the girl’s left foot and administered first aid while her husband called paramedics.
Crete firefighters and Will County Sheriff’s deputies responded and the victim was transported to St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Ind. According to reports, the girl suffers from spina bifida, which "causes numbness in her lower extremities (and she) has basically no sensation beneath the waist."
The girl’s father told police that nothing was out of the ordinary and the girl’s foot was intact when she went to bed around 9 p.m. the night before. The family’s 2-year-old black Labrador retriever has always slept at the foot of the girl’s bed.
Crete firefighters had the 44-year-old man check the dog’s mouth and muzzle, but did not find any trace of blood.
The family said the dog has never been aggressive toward the girl or other people, and deputies noted the animal "showed no aggression" toward them while they were in the house.
A Will County Animal Control Center officer examined the dog. On Tuesday, they reported the animal had been brought in for a 10-day observation since records showed it was overdue for vaccinations.
The girl was said to have a sore on her left foot that had not healed over the last year, despite being examined by doctors and specialists. Animal Control "determined that the dog was acting true to its nature by removing the wound from the victim as it would in the wild" and the incident was not a violation.
The dog was described as non-threatening and will not be put down.
The Department of Children and Family Services was also notified to document the incident, but told sheriff’s police they did not plan to investigate.