• Jacksonville girl, 6, dies after dog attack

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

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    A Jacksonville girl has died days after a dog attacked her at her Arlington home, according to the medical examiner.

    Jaelah Smith, 6, was critically injured Sunday when police said a dog the family was watching while the owner was on vacation attacked her.

    The dog was humanely euthanized July 25 after the quarantine period expired, a Jacksonville city spokesperson said. 

    Neighbor Timothy Hightower, who lives a few doors down, was there the day of the attack. 

    Hightower said he heard the little girl's mother crying out, desperate for help.

    “She begged them, ‘Please somebody, call the police! Somebody help me!’ Everybody was kind of scared because the dog was still loose,” Hightower said.

    “If I could give my life for her life, I’d do it,” Hightower said. “I really would.”

    Since the attack Sunday on Herrick Drive in Arlington, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not announced any arrests.

    "We have not been advised of a change in the health status of the child.  No arrests have been made at this time – it continues to be an active investigation," according to JSO's public information officer, Christian Hancock. 

    RELATED: Witnesses say Jacksonville dog attack victim was dismembered

     

    Action News Jax cameras were rolling as Animal Services removed a dog from the property over the weekend. We're working to confirm if it was the dog responsible for the attack.

    Officers said more than one dog was in the house and, according to a police report, the girl's mother and 7- and 9-year-old brothers were there too.

    Action News Jax asked the city what's next for the dog, and if the owner faces any charges or fines.

    A representative said, "The dog remains under 10-day quarantine with Animal Care and Protective Services. The investigation is currently still active."

    Hightower has his opinion of what should happen.

    “Just put it down,” Hightower said, “because it’s going to do it again. It tasted blood. It’s going to do it again.”

    Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said the dog will likely be put down since the child died. However, Florida law requires notice and a hearing before that happens.

    The animal's body will be studied to see if there was an "organic" reason for the attack.

    The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating. 

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