GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A nine-year-old girl is recovering after being attacked by a dog outside a Gulfport apartment building.
It happened last Friday at Regency Way Apartments, which is located at 1400 28th Street. The girl's mother told police that the child was outside playing with a pit bull that belonged to another resident when the dog bit the girl in the face. The dog was loose in the apartment complex at the time.
The girl's mother took the child to the emergency room, where she required stitches but didn't suffer any life-threatening injuries. The child's mother reported the attack to police the next day, saying the delay was caused by her seeking medical attention for her daughter immediately.
Police were able to determine that the pit bull belonged to Shyia Tippens, who also lives in the apartment complex. Tippens was charged with vicious animal and dog-at-large. She turned herself in to authorities Thursday, which is the same day she told police she was made aware of the charges. Tippens did provide police with proper documentation showing that the dog was up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations.
According to the girl's mother, she reported the incident to the apartment complex management, who told her the dog was allowed to live there because it was a service animal. She says she is still discussing the attack with officials at the apartment.
Gulfport Police is urging citizens not to approach any dog that belongs to another person and to immediately contact authorities if a dog is observed loose. You can reach Gulfport Police Department and Animal Control at 228-868-5959.