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Toddler Bitten In The Face By Mastiff Dog

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) –An 18-month-old girl is recovering Friday after a dog bit her in the face Thursday night.

Clara Ryan was at her grandmother’s house near Case Avenue and Arcade Street on Mendota in St. Paul when a 175-pound mastiff named Blue bit her.

This was not the first time Blue, a family pet, bit and injured a child, according to St. Paul police. The first incident happened in March of 2010, when a boy was bit after he accidentally stepped on Blue’s groin. A second incident happened on Jan. 2, when the same boy tried to kiss Blue.

Sgt. Paul Paulos gave the following reminder to parents.

“When you see your child going eye-to-eye with an animal — to a lot of animals, that could mean ‘challenge.’”

Ryan was taken to Regions Hospital Thursday night and later released. The girl had cuts above and below her right eye. Paulos said one adult and one younger girl were home when she was bitten.

A neighbor says Blue is big and frightening.

“He barks at everyone walking by; and whether he’s barking or not ,he’s very intimidating,” the neighbor said.

Blue was immediately taken by animal control. Paulos says the dog was voluntarily surrendered.

Blue will be quarantined for 10 days while the Department of Safety and Inspections and Animal Control investigates. Ryan’s family is requesting that Blue be put down.

“You have to remember first and foremost these are animals, and the potential for a bite could be high depending on whether it’s scared, whether it’s a friendly or an aggressive dog,” Paulos said. “In these instances, it seems as though the dog was frightened or pulled in. Sometimes they bite, because they want to be protected.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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