Service dog bites neighbor's child

April 22, 2011 5:57:07 AM PDT
The fate of a quarantined German Shepherd is in the hands of a judge in New Jersey after it bit a neighbor's daughter.

The dog bit the young girl in the face.

The pet's owner's daughter is a 9-year-old girl battling brain cancer.

The German Shepherd is her service dog, and she wants it back.

One year ago today, 9-year-old Molly Kimball got the dog, Ava.

Molly has had six surgeries, and receives chemo every Monday.

Three weeks ago, Ava was taken away by animal control after the incident at their neighbor's house.

Molly's dad says he was holding the leash when Ava lunged at the 6-year-old girl living next door.

"I believe that her jaws involuntarily snapped and one of her teeth caught the little girl's nose," said Paul Kimball.

The little girl was Isabelle was rushed to the hospital.

Paul says it was an accident, and Ava wouldn't hurt a fly, however there are always two sides to every story.

When Eyewitness News spoke to the victim's family, we got a different story.

"It is not a peaceful dog at all, to attack when it's on a leash is disgusting," said Liz Gernhardt.

The little girl needed 100 stitches to close the wound to her face, and now has trouble sleeping and doesn't want to go outside.

The Gernhardt's say they love Molly and don't want to see her suffer anymore.

They don't even want to see Ava put down, they just don't want the dog living next door.

This coming Tuesday night a judge will decide if Ava can come back to the neighborhood. Even the neighbors say they feel for Molly but have to worry about the safety of their own children too.

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