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Girl, ten, narrowly survived a dog attack that left her with nine lacerations to the head

A brave little girl was left with a fractured skull and nine-inch laceration on her head after being ‘scalped’ in a dog attack.

Ten-year-old Savannah Dumont, from Miamisburg, Ohio, survived a dog attack in July 2018 when her friend’s Pitbull launched at her and lacerated her scalp. 

Her mother, Tierney Dumont, 27, a customer service representative, rushed to the scene to find her daughter dripping in blood, surrounded by parademics after sustaining severe lacerations to the head, ear and hand. 

It took a five hour surgery and a week in hospital for the bubbly girl to recover, but she is still receiving treatment to ease the debilitating headaches and nerve pain she sustained from the attack.   

Tierney said that before the attack, Savannah was the bubbliest little girl in the room and loved being outside but the attack has had a lasting psychological impact on her and left her with PTSD, anxiety and depression.  

The family are now campaigning to pass a law in Savannah’s name to make unprovoked dog attacks a fifth-degree felony.

Ten-year-old Savannah Dumont, from Miamisburg, Ohio, survived a dog attack in July 2018 when her friend’s Pitbull launched at her and lacerated her scalp. Her mother, Tierney, 27, is campaigning so that unprovoked dog attacks are recognized as a fifth degree felony, leading to higher fines and possible jail time 

A picture show thr damaged Savannah sustained on her scalp and ear after the attack in July 2018

A picture show thr damaged Savannah sustained on her scalp and ear after the attack in July 2018 

‘The moment I found out Savannah was attacked I was horrified. We see these attacks all the time in the news, but you never think it will happen to your child or someone you know,’ said Tierney.

‘I was so scared for her and wanted to take away all her pain. I knew things were bad and just knew we had to get her to the hospital.

‘I felt sick to my stomach. I was in complete shock as I stood there and looked at my child completely covered in blood.

‘Savannah was wearing a little white t-shirt that day and I remember it being soaked in blood, and blood dripping down to her new Adidas trainers that we had bought the previous month for her birthday. For some reason, those two images still stick in my head.

Two years on, Savannah now has her own dog, Honey Bee, who is helping her recover from the attack

Two years on, Savannah now has her own dog, Honey Bee, who is helping her recover from the attack

The ten-year-old had to spend a week in hospital after the attack (pictured) and went though a five-hour-long operation to repair the damage caused by the dog

The ten-year-old had to spend a week in hospital after the attack (pictured) and went though a five-hour-long operation to repair the damage caused by the dog 

The mother explained her daughter had nine lacerations to the head, one being nine inches-long, three lacerations to her right ear, two lacerations to her right hand and a puncture wound through the palm of her right hand as well. 

‘She suffered a skull fracture and had to have a blood transfusion. She ended up needing a blood transfusion due to loss of blood,’ she added. 

It took shaving the ten-year-old and a five-hour-long operation and a blood transfusion to repair most of the damage caused by the dog. 

But Tierney explained her child still suffered headaches and nerve pain s a result. 

‘She gets nerve block injections every six weeks, and is on two medications to manage her headaches and nerve pain,’ she said. 

Savannah resumed cheerleading after the attack. It took some time for her hair to grow back after it was shaved prior to her operation

Savannah resumed cheerleading after the attack. It took some time for her hair to grow back after it was shaved prior to her operation

Savannah testified in front of Ohio law-makers before the coronavirus pandemic as part of her mother's campaign

Savannah testified in front of Ohio law-makers before the coronavirus pandemic as part of her mother’s campaign 

The ten-year-old has been working hard on her mental health following the attack (pictured), but still suffers from anxiety, PTSD and depression, her mother said

The ten-year-old has been working hard on her mental health following the attack (pictured), but still suffers from anxiety, PTSD and depression, her mother said 

‘Some days truly are hard but watching Savannah fight and keep pushing keeps us all going. Savannah always has a smile on her face and is never willing to give up,’ she added. 

The proud mother, who said Savannah could ;light up a room not matter what,’ said she was proud of her daughter’s bravery.   

But the attack has had a lasting impact on the ten-year-old, who was scared of going out after the ordeal. 

‘Unfortunately it has deeply changed our family forever. Not only did it affect Savannah physically but the mental stance it took on her really shook us,’ Tierney said.  

After the incident, Savannah met with the two paramedics who took her to the hospital after the attack

After the incident, Savannah met with the two paramedics who took her to the hospital after the attack 

Tierney has said she is very proud of how brave Savannah proved to be in the days following the attack (pictured now)

Tierney has said she is very proud of how brave Savannah proved to be in the days following the attack (pictured now)

A picture show the extent of the tem-year-old's injuries after she made it to the hospital following the 2018 attack

A picture show the extent of the tem-year-old’s injuries after she made it to the hospital following the 2018 attack

‘If we were going to go somewhere outside we had to call ahead and ask if dogs were allowed and that would determine if Savannah wanted to go or not. Even taking a walk in our neighborhood we had to be super cautious,’ she added. 

While Savannah has ‘worked very hard’ on her mental health and is doing better, Tierney said the incident put a ‘deep burden’ on the whole family two years on.  

‘She still has days where she just wants to cry. Sometimes, she sees a specific dog and it brings her right back into the moment it happened and it’s a full panic attack,’ she said. 

‘Those are really hard to watch as a parent, and then when your child is in pain and you’ve done all you can do but nothing is working.. It’s just heart-breaking.’

The dog that attacked Savannah was put down and Tierney is now fighting to have a bill passed in Savannah’s name which would make an unprovoked dog attack a fifth-degree felony.

Savannah is focusing on rebuilding her mental health and pursue a normal life/ She could not go out for some time following the incident

Savannah is focusing on rebuilding her mental health and pursue a normal life/ She could not go out for some time following the incident 

Savannah in hospital in 2018. She sustained nine lacerations to the head, three to the ear, one to the hand and a puncture wound thought the palm of her right hand

Savannah in hospital in 2018. She sustained nine lacerations to the head, three to the ear, one to the hand and a puncture wound thought the palm of her right hand 

Tierney with her partner Nathan with Savannah when the ten-year-old was in hospital. The whole family are campaigning for higher fines on unprovoked dog attacks

Tierney with her partner Nathan with Savannah when the ten-year-old was in hospital. The whole family are campaigning for higher fines on unprovoked dog attacks 

Tierney has shared Savannah’s story on Instagram through which she has been able to connect with other families who have been through a similar ordeal.

‘Savannah has adjusted as best as you could imagine. We take it one day at a time and try not to plan too far ahead,’ she said. 

‘We have our good days and our bad days. But she is a fighter, after every procedure and every poke we make it known that she is a warrior,’ the mother added. 

‘Sharing our story on social media has been a good release for me as her mum as I have had other parents reach out to me with the same stories which is so nice to be able to relate and talk to someone else who has gone through something similar.

‘I have received so much support.

'Bubbly' Savannah loves cheerleading and is slowly returning to her old self. The dog who attacked her was put down

‘Bubbly’ Savannah loves cheerleading and is slowly returning to her old self. The dog who attacked her was put down 

“Right now, if your dog attacks someone in our state it is only a minor misdemeanor ticket. This is a one-hundred-and-twenty-dollar fine – no other punishments. I personally think that’s not enough. So, we are working on a bill which is called “Savannah’s law” which if your dog attacks someone unprovoked, would make it a fifth-degree felony.

Tierney explained this would result in high fines and possible jail time depending on the injuries. 

The proud mother said her daughter testified at the state house to share her story in from of law makers =. 

However, the process was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Tierney said she could not wait to hit the ground running once things could resume.   

‘The message I want to convey is that dog attacks are a problem, and they unfortunately happen far too often. Savannah was one of three children admitted to the hospital that night for a dog attack,’ she said. 

‘I want them to see how much of a fighter my little Savannah is and although something horrible happened to her we are hoping for something amazing to come out of it.’


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