LARGO — Two young girls were hospitalized Friday after being attacked by dogs in separate incidents.
In the more serious of the two cases, a 9-year-old girl was bitten on both shoulders as she tried to protect her pet chihuahua from a pit bull.
The girl, whose name was not released, had been walking her dog on Bennett Street near Palm Avenue SW when the attack happened about 6:30 p.m., said Largo Sgt. Mark Young.
"Two dogs had been let out about a block away into their side yard," Young said. "The side yard was not fenced and they were not restrained."
The dogs, a pit bull and a Labrador, saw the smaller chihuahua and made their way to the girl. She picked up her dog and turned away. That's when the pit bull bit the girl, officials said. The Labrador ran away.
"She had puncture wounds and lacerations," Young said. "Those injuries are severe."
An ambulance took the girl to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Her condition was unavailable Friday night.
An earlier attack happened a few miles away about 5:45 p.m. Friday at 1006 Lake Palms Drive.
In that case, a Rottweiller bit a 12 year-old girl who had been playing in the street in front of the house where the dog lived, Young said. The dog's owner released the dog in the back yard, not realizing his side gate was open.
The 16-month-old, 103-pound dog ran to the girl and bit her on the wrist, back and lower abdomen. She was treated for puncture wounds at All Children's Hospital and released.
Pinellas County Animal Services took custody of the pit bull and Rottweiler.