BOWLER, WI (WAOW/CNN) – Police say an 11-year-old girl in Wisconsin may have saved her little brother’s life when she protected him from a dog attack, taking four bites that needed stitches.
Alayna Burney, 11, was taking a walk with her 2-year-old brother Mateo Saturday when a pit bull escaped his kennel and ran after the two children.
"I jumped in his way and pushed him away, so the dog would attack me. I didn't want him getting hurt. I love him too much,” Alayna said.
After the girl was bitten, the dog turned his attention back to Mateo, but Alayna wasn’t going to let the pit bull hurt him.
“I ran on top of a car screaming for help, and the dog tried to go by my baby brother. So, I kept calling the dog to me,” Alayna said.
Neighbors fought the pit bull off the 11-year-old by hitting it with a baseball bat.
“We’ve never seen a girl with such bravery. To be attacked and then redirect that animal to attack you again to protect your brother is something that's really special," Sheriff Adam Bieber said.
Alayna was taken to the hospital, where her four bite wounds were treated. She received 18 stitches.
Thanks to Alayna’s actions, her brother was unharmed, and she is being hailed as a hero.
"I always told my children that he’s little. He can't defend himself or anything, so, no matter what, we have to defend this baby with our lives. I'm so proud of my girl,” said Alayna's mother, Mandi Beattie.
The dog was a 2-year-old pit bull named Drae, who was adopted by his owner Teena Piotrowski nine months ago. She had been trying to find a new home for the dog because she knew he was aggressive. Drae was on quarantine at the time of the attack for killing another dog earlier in the week.
"My heart sunk when I found out a child was hurt. I am very proud of her. She stood up to him to protect her little brother. She's a hero,” Piotrowski said.
The pit bull was euthanized Monday after the attack, according to the sheriff. He says the incident is still under investigation, and no criminal charges have been brought against the owner.
Alayna says the attack won’t affect her love for animals.
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