5-Year-Old Girl Critically Injured in Charles County Dog Attack

A 5-year-old girl is in stable but critical condition after she was attacked by as many as three dogs Wednesday evening.

The little girl named Savanna was at her Bennsville, Md., home with her mother's boyfriend when she slipped out the back door and entered the family's back yard shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. There, she was bitten by at least one dog, authorities said.

Savanna was taken to Children's National Medical Center with life-threatening injuries after her mother's boyfriend found her. She was unconscious and barely breathing, with dog bites, lacerations and other injuries to her face, neck and body.

Authorities said Thursday morning that Savanna's condition stabilized overnight. Her family said they are anticipating an extended recovery.

The fenced-in back yard includes a large kennel-type structure. However, as of Thursday morning, authorities say they have received conflicting reports about who owns the dogs -- an Olde English Bulldogge and two Presa Canarios. Savanna's family said the dogs are not owned by the family.

"We're hearing that the dogs may have just been dropped off at the house to be watched after by the homeowners, so we're still trying to verify that," said Diane Richardson of the Charles County Sheriff's Office.


The Olde English Bulldogge and one of the Presa Canarios were linked to the attack and were euthanized.

"What I understand is that they're all classified as 'bully breeds,'" Richardson said.

Savanna and her mother had recently moved into the home of the mother's boyfriend.

Savanna had played with the dogs before, News4's Shomari Stone reported Wednesday night.

A next door neighbor told News4's Megan McGrath he wasn't home at the time of the attack, but his children called him.

"They called me," he said. "They heard [the dogs] just getting loud.... Sounded like they were fighting over there.... But they didn't go over there because they know what type of dogs they are."

"It's devastating; it's terrible," the neighbor said. "...I feel sorry for the child."

As to how Savanna got out of the house, "She's 5 years old. They do that. She apparently went out back and that's where she was found," Richardson said.

The dogs are now in the custody of Animal Control. The investigation continues.

No charges are likely, authorities said.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.

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