DETROIT, MI – A 10-year-old girl is in very critical condition after having her arm severed during a pit bull attack, police said.

The incident happened Saturday when the dog managed to get out of a second-floor gated room and attack the girl as she was playing in the backyard.

The owner of the dog has had issues with the animal in the past, including attacking a DTE a year ago, so when strangers are around they secure the dog.

“But in this instance, the dog left the upstairs, came down, the gated door was ajar, the dog left and immediately began attacking this child,” Chief James Craig said.

The girl’s aunt tried to intervene but the dog turned on her and injured her leg. A neighbor ran over with a shovel and beat the dog with it until the shovel broke, but the dog would not let go of the girl’s arm.

Someone else came and tried getting the dog away from the girl with food, to no avail.

“It wasn’t even think about that food, because at this point, it smelled blood,” said neighbor Raphael Jackson said.

By time they were able to get the dog off of the little girl, her right arm had been severed and her foot had been partially severed.

Doctors were able to reattach the girl’s arm, and did not need to be amputate her foot. latest reports have doctors saying they are optimistic about her prognosis.

The dog was taken to the Detroit Animal Control & Care. No word on what will be done with it at this time, but Craig wants to know why it was in the house in the first place.

“Why is this dog allowed to stay here when we already have a history of the dog being vicious?” Craig said.

No charged have been filed at this time, but police say it is too early in their investigation.

“There is a possibility of charges, but the investigation is still very fresh and fluid,” said Detroit police spokesperson Jennifer Moreno. “There have been quite a few attacks lately. Chief (James Craig) stated that it is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

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