A 12-year-old girl has sustained brutal injuries to her face after her family dog mauled her as she leaned in to give him a kiss.
Niki Chrysanthopoulos was eating a snack on the couch before a karate lesson on Thursday afternoon when the dog, an American Bull Terrier named Ollie, started growling at her.
She told the dog not to growl and went to kiss him on the head, but Ollie turned and bit her face, leaving a huge gash on her chin and pulling a chunk from the young girl’s lip.
Her mother Tanya Chrysanthopoulos told NCA NewsWire she was on the phone when she heard the growl and was “frantic” at the unexpected scene.
“I called out to my husband and he said ‘oh my god’ – I said I would ring an ambulance but he said ‘there’s too much blood’,” she explained.
With a towel under her lip and blood pouring from her face, Niki was raced to hospital by her father.
Mrs Chrysanthopoulos said he called her as the pair rushed from their home in Drouin to a hospital in Melbourne, telling her the dog “had to be gone” by the time he returned.
The mother called Baw Baw Shire Council and reported the incident, with a ranger at her home in a matter of minutes to take Ollie away and put him down.
She said the dog, who is under three years old, had always been “overprotective” of the family, but after the incident she felt she could no longer trust him and did not hesitate to surrender him.
“I really don’t care … it broke my heart saying that, but he’s eaten my daughter,” she said.
“How do I know if people come over that he wont do it again?
“My poor baby is mauled, it’s horrific, I think I’m more traumatised than her.”
Mrs Chrysanthopoulos said as she and her son lifted the dog onto the council ute, he growled at her and tried to bite her, reinforcing her decision.
“(My son) and I had to put Ollie in the back of the ute and say goodbye. So I’m saying bye to my friend, my dog, but I couldn’t trust him,” she said.
As a result of the attack, Niki has several loose teeth in her mouth and scarring to her face. Mrs Chrysanthopoulos said surgeons had used 20 stitches on the outside of her daughter’s lip to pull the pieces back together, and even more on the inside of her mouth.
The schoolgirl was in hospital from Thursday to Sunday afternoon, but may require more surgery.
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Niki’s medical costs.