Girl, 7, recovering after Wildwood police K-9 attack

Officer placed on administrative leave after dog bites girl

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. – A 7-year-old girl is recovering after she says she was attacked by a police dog.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the girl and a friend were playing Sunday evening in an abandoned lot next to the home of Wildwood police Officer Douglas Pelton.

PHOTOS:  K-9 attacks 7-year-old girl

Pelton had just let his 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, Doki, out of his kennel when the dog saw one of the children, Julianne Goodridge, reach over the fence.

Pelton said Doki ran toward the girl, and as the girl pulled back, the dog jumped over the fence and bit her.

Pelton told investigators the dog stopped on his command and he immediately secured Doki back in his kennel.

His worker's said he screamed in the backyard until a neighbor came to help.

A woman told a 911 dispatcher there was a huge hole in the girl's neck.

Her father met an ambulance in Fruitland Park, where she was immediately transported to Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando. He said that he did not want to comment about the incident.

Wildwood police said that Pelton has been placed on administrative leave and Doki has been placed in a boarding facility while they conduct an internal investigation.

"Our foremost concern is the well-being of the child ... and her family," the Wildwood Police Department said in a statement.

Pelton's co-workers said he arrived at work Monday morning, sat in his patrol car and sobbed.

They say he has four young daughters, and this incident has hit him very hard.

Lake County sheriff's deputies are investigating the incident.?


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