Grandmother of girl mauled by dogs talks about attack

Grandmother of girl mauled by dogs talks about attack

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GRIFFIN, Ga. -

The grandmother of a little girl mauled by her family dogs says she doesn't know why the pets attacked.

Kathy Goodson says her 5-year-old granddaughter, Lily, was playing in her backyard on Wednesday when she was attacked by her family's three dogs.

Goodson said tried to fight the dogs off of the girl, shielding Lily with her own body.

"I was yelling, ‘Can somebody please help me, he's killing my granddaughter. Somebody please come help me,'" said Goodson.

She said that Merlin, the family's American bulldog, latched onto the little girl and tore at her face.

"He was ripping her up. I grabbed her head, and I shoved her head as far under my chest as I could get her. And he would go under my arm, and he would get her," Goodson said.

Just when Goodson thought she couldn't hang on anymore, a responding police officer shot and killed the dog.

"I just grabbed her, and I picked her up, and I just had -- I wanted her to talk. I didn't know if she was -- I didn't know if my baby was dead," Goodson said.

Lily lost an ear and suffered severe facial injuries in the attack, her grandmother said. Goodson says the Shriners have reached out to the family, arranging for the child to undergo reconstructive surgery at their medical facility in Cincinnati.

The grandmother said that she can't imagine why the dogs attacked. While police identified a pit bull as the main aggressor, Goodson says the Merlin – an American bulldog -- was the dog that latched on to the girl.

"A dog that we've loved for eight years, this is our family dog. Lily was Merlin's heart," said Goodson.

Goodson it's a miracle that her granddaughter is still alive.  She said that the child is being sedated and she's not sure how long she'll be hospitalized in Atlanta before being transferred to Shriners.

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