Alaska News

Anchorage girl hospitalized after pit bull attack

Anchorage police say a 9-year-old girl is in the hospital on Friday after a pit bull attacked her on a playground in Glencaren Court, a mobile home park off Muldoon Road.

The dog bolted out of a home after a girl who lived nearby slammed the front door and startled it, Renee Oistad, police spokeswoman, said in a statement. Oistad said the 7-year-old girl was home alone with her 13-year-old brother.

The dog ran about 30 yards to a playground, where "it immediately latched onto the top of a 9-year-old girl's head," Oistad said.

The girl screamed and several adults came to help, Oistad said. One wielded a crowbar and two others had handguns. One man hit the dog with the crowbar, but the dog did not let go of the girl, according to Oistad.

The 13-year-old boy tried to grab the dog, but that did not work. Another person used pepper spray on the dog, but the dog maintained its bite, Oistad said.

Originally, Oistad said a person then fired a handgun and shot the dog in the head. However, she later clarified the dog eventually let go of the girl and went after two adults, causing minor injuries. A man fired his handgun once and shot the dog in the head, Oistad said.

The dog was taken inside. The adult owner was called and immediately returned home, Oistad said.


Police received a report of the dog attack around 12:45 p.m. The girl was taken to a hospital, where she is being treated for injuries to her scalp. The injuries are not life-threatening, Oistad said.

The dog is in the custody of Anchorage Animal Care and Control. It will be medically treated and "its fate will be determined by Animal Control once they have finished with their investigation of the incident," Oistad said.

Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Laura Atwood said the dog was taken to an emergency clinic, but she wouldn't comment on its condition.

In 2014, she said, Animal Control responded to 797 reported dog bites and attacks to humans and animals in Anchorage. This year, it recorded 333 reports through May, she said.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.