TEMPE, AZ - A toddler is in a Valley hospital after she was mauled by the family’s dog, authorities said.
Tempe police Sgt. Mike Pooley said the dog, an 8-year-old Akita, knocked down a fence and got to the 9-month-old at a home near McClintock Drive and Elliot Road around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
Pooley said the girl's mother had left her alone for a brief time and when she returned, found the child bleeding from the head and the 95-pound dog sitting next to her.
Pooley said the mother grabbed the injured child and began to drive to Banner Desert Samaritan Hospital in Mesa.
“She immediately tried to call 911 from what she told us but she was so frantic she said her fingers wouldn't work,” Pooley said.
On the way to the hospital the mother was involved in an accident with another vehicle, disabling her own car, Pooley said.
The mother waved down another vehicle that had stopped and asked the driver to take her to the hospital. When they got to the front of the main hospital, the mother flagged down another driver to take her and her child to the pediatric emergency department entrance.
Pooley said the child is in extremely critical condition with severe head injuries.
The family has not yet decided what to do with the dog which was still in the home as of Wednesday morning, Pooley said.
Pooley said two years ago, the dog bit the baby's 8-year-old sibling in the face and just two months ago, the Akita bit the infant's mother.
Police said the family has a history with Child Protective Services, but wouldn't elaborate.
Officials say Tempe detectives and CPS are working together to investigate the incident.
Police haven't released the name of the mother or child.
On Thursday, the family decided to euthanize the dog and test it for rabies, authorities say.
Tempe Police are looking for any information to identify the two drivers that transported the mother and child to the hospital during this traumatic incident. Anybody with information is asked to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.