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When dogs attack

My scariest moment as a reporter was knocking on doors at night in a poorly lit neighborhood with two dogs roaming around, obviously not on leashes, and looking angry. Lucky for me, their owner came home and corralled them.

A 13-year-old girl was far less lucky in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night. No, it wasn't a shooting, stabbing or other gruesome death. But everyone in the neighborhood was just as scared.

The girl was riding her bicycle with a group of friends when a dog that looked like a pit bull attacked them along Northwest Ninth Court, said Dorothy Madison, 56, who lives nearby. The dog knocked down her bike and started attacking her.

"It was gnawing at her, dragging her by the pant leg," Madison said.

The girl got up, turned a corner and started running north on Northwest 24th Avenue. She jumped into the street, trying to avoid the dog, when a northbound car slammed into her.

Colette Black heard the girl screaming, rushed outside her home at the corner of Ninth Court and 24th Avenue and saw the girl get hit. Black, 51, called 911, running over to the girl as her friends surrounded her. She seemed alert but had closed eyes.

"I told her 'Don't go to sleep. Open your eyes'," " Black said.

Thankfully, this ended well. The girl was OK, her biggest injury a broken leg from the car, according to Fort Lauderdale police. The dog was turned over to county animal care. (And a big thanks to Black, who gave me her age with some reluctance, saying "How am I supposed to get a husband if I put that out there?")


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