PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A pit bull bit a young girl several times in her own front yard Tuesday night. Wednesday, the girl was home and talking about what happened.
"It went straight for me and I fell on the side over there, 'cause it jumped and locked on to my neck and got my arms," 9-year-old Paytan Wiersum told 24 Hour News 8.
Two pit bulls attacked Paytan, but only one bit her. She sustained more than a dozen bite wounds.
"It just hurt so bad when it grabbed my neck," she recalled. "The only thing I kept thinking was to cover my face and my legs."
What Paytan's dad Alex Wiersum learned from 24 Hour News 8's report Tuesday night caused him even more frustration as he learned that these dogs were a known problem.
"If somebody was to see the look on her face last night when she said, 'I thought I was going to die,'" said Wiersum. "How do you deal with that as a parent?"
A neighborhood watch captain had lodged more than one complaint about the dogs to try to prevent an attack from happening.
"It scares me that I can't count on the officials in this town to do their job," said neighborhood watch captain Alice D'Agostino.
D'Agostino wrote to Plainfield Township a week before the attack:
"Daily, he is let run loose with the female's dog, who is of equal size in the backyard and. they attack each other in a vicious manner as if they are in training to learn to fight," the letter read in part.
But township officials said that the complaints went to the wrong agency and that they told D'Agostino to call animal control repeatedly, which she didn't do.
"An analogy might be if you see somebody speeding, it's good that you tell us, but you really ought to call the enforcing agency, which in our case would be the county sheriff. In this case, it's county animal control," said Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan.
Animal Control said it never received any complaint about the dogs in question.
The trauma of what happened is evident on the young girl's face on a day she'd normally be happy.
"What sucks is today's my birthday," said Paytan.
The wounds that may take the longest to heal may not be those covered by bandages and stitches.
"Since that, I'm scared to go outside, and if my dog jumps on me I get scared," she said.
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.
Those receiving the 2013 White House holiday card will see a design made by a Grand Rapids artist.