The terrifying moment a 16-year-old girl was mauled by six family dogs has been described by a shocked neighbour. The large Cane Corsos – an Italian mastiff breed often kept as a guard dog – attacked the teenager in the front yard of her home in Thousand Oaks, California on Sunday, according to police. The girl was left hospitalised – and onlookers claim they too were chased by the out of control animals.
The girl is said to be in a serious condition but is expected to survive.
Sheriff’s Captain Ron Chips said the girl suffered “several significant lacerations and dog bites to her head, torso, and arms”.
He added that the girl’s mother was bitten but not seriously injured.
Officials said firefighters scared the dogs away by blasting their sirens upon arriving.
One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC7: “I didn’t think too much of it until we heard a little girl scream, and I jumped up and saw the girl on the ground with the dogs on top of her, and her mom was on top trying to shield her.
“The dogs were just going at it.”
The man said he tried to chase them away.
“I got half way out into the street… the dogs started coming after me,” he claimed, adding: “My girlfriend yelled at me to ‘Come back in, come back in’ and sure enough three of them chased me.
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“I barely made it back into the gate without them catching me.”
The neighbour added: “I have nothing bad to say about the family or the dogs. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this.”
The dogs were in the custody of the LA County Animal Control, the fate of the animals is unclear.
According to the Centre for Disease control, more than four million dog bites occur each year in the United States.
In 2022, there have been at least 25 fatal dog attacks in the US.