A pitbull has been put down after what police say was an "unprovoked attack" on a 10-year-old Minnesota girl earlier this week.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported the attack occurred on Wednesday at a home in Brandon, where the girl was attending a sleepover with the homeowner's children.
During the evening, the pitbull, in an "unprovoked attack," is said to have "lunged at the girl and bit her numerous times" while they were in the kitchen.
The owner was able to pull the dog off the girl and put it in the garage.
The girl was taken to the Douglas County Hospital for treatment, before later being transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital. It's not clear how serious her injuries were.
The owner asked that the dog be removed from her home by deputies and put down, with police due to test the dog's body for rabies as part of the investigation.
Dog attacks in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control says that around 4.5 million dog bites happen each year in the United States.
The government agency has a series of tips for children and adults about how to avoid a dog attack, namely by not approaching unfamiliar dogs, not running from a dog, not panicking, not petting them before they've had a chance to see and sniff you, and disturbing a dog that's sleeping, eating or caring for its puppies.
Anyone approached by an unfamiliar dog should remain motionless. In the event of an attack that knocks you over, the advice is to curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck.
Information on which dogs are most often responsible for attacks is conflicting and, given the emotional attachment people have to dogs, varied depending on the motivation of specific website, though pitbulls do tend to be considered as one of the breeds more likely to attack.
AbsentData suggests pitbulls are the responsible for most fatalities, followed by rottweilers, but Gizmodo notes that pitbulls are quite often misidentified, while attack statistics don't always take into account the treatment of the dogs by the owners.