Two dogs euthanized after mauling 5-year-old Md. girl

UPDATE – Thursday – 4/4/2013, 4:45 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Deputies said Thursday afternoon the girl’s condition had improved. Authorities say the man watching her kept three dogs — two Presa Canarios and an English bulldog.

The two dogs that were found near the girl, Savanna, have been euthanized. They were the English bulldog and a Presa Canario.

An earlier version of this story identified the three dogs as a pit bull, a bulldog and a cane corso.

ABC7 reports the home has a history of issues with dogs. Watch the video below for more information.

EARLIER – Thursday – 4/4/2013, 12:434 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON – A 5-year-old girl was seriously injured in a dog attack Wednesday night in White Plains, Md.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office says the child was attacked around 6 p.m. in the 8600 block of Billingsley Road, in the Waldorf area. The girl was at home being watched by her mother’s boyfriend when she wandered into the backyard.

The boyfriend went looking for the girl and found her in the backyard, bleeding, and curled up without clothes on.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Diane Richardson says the dogs ripped the clothes off her body and bit her, causing lacerations and other injuries to her face, neck and body. She reportedly also had her ears torn.

The child was flown to Children’s National Medical Center in D.C. and had been in critical condition. She is now in stable condition.

It was not clear how many dogs were involved in the attack. Family members told authorities the dogs at the scene were an English bulldog and two Presa Canarios.

The dogs belonged to the boyfriend and lived at the home where the girl and mother had recently moved.

“There’s not too many people who have dogs in this neighborhood,” says Alice Hopkins, who lives in the area. “I’m horrified that something like that could happen … People usually keep their dogs pretty well confined and on a leash.”

Leigha Messick, with the Charles County Humane Society, says dogs attacks most often occur for the same reason.

“Generally, the No. 1 reason a dog bites is out of fear,” Messick says.

Dogs become fearful when they aren’t properly trained, says Messick.

“It just comes down to socialization … people just need to get them used to the fact that people and animals are OK, they are nothing to fear.”

This story has been updated.

The Associated Press and WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @NickWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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