FARMINGDALE, Maine — A 3-year-old girl is recovering in a Portland hospital after she was attacked by a dog at her grandmother’s home Thursday morning, police said.
The girl’s grandmother, 51-year old Pam Lapointe, had called police frantically stating the Rottweiler was attacking the girl, Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said.
Lapointe was babysitting the child when the girl wandered within striking distance of the dog, which was secured to the side of a barn with a steel cable, Liberty said.
The dog aggressively lunged at the girl, snapping off his leash and he bit the child several times before Lapointe was able to intervene, the sheriff said.
Lapointe dove on top of the girl to prevent the dog from attacking her, Liberty said. When paramedics arrived, the girl could not be treated due to the dog’s aggressive nature.
Gardiner police soon arrived and shot and killed the dog, and Lapointe and the girl were transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to Liberty. The toddler was later airlifted to Shriners Hospital in Boston.
Lapointe was not injured in the attack but the toddler suffered head injuries, Liberty said.
Liberty commended Lapointe for saving the girl’s life. The dog belonged to Lapointe’s boyfriend, James Baum, 52. The dog was five years old and weighed 120 pounds.
“Had she not shielded the young girl from the dog this event would have been much more tragic,” Liberty said.
The sheriff said the dog was taken to a local veterinarian where it will be tested for rabies. No charges are expected to be filed.