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Owner of dog that attacked teenage girl in Fortuna speaks out

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WARNING- Some of the images in the video for this story are graphic.

We told you about a pit bull attack that left a teenage girl with multiple bite wounds throughout her body on Wednesday’s newscast.

On Wednesday, we spoke to the victim’s family and police about the incident.  On Thursday, News Channel 3 caught up with the owner of the dog who says the attack was unfortunate, but an accident. 

Family members of the one and a half year old pit bull Tonka say Tuesday was the first time he has ever bitten someone.

"He grew up with babies.  Three little babies, pulling on his face all the time.  Three little boys particularly, all of them under four,” said Madeline Neal, one of the owners of the dog.

Seventeen-year-old Kirra Neal says on Monday, she watched a video posted of a girl’s brother being beaten up.  She says that girl has bullied younger children and was rude to friends of hers before, so she decided to post a message making fun of the girl’s brother.  She says she then received a threatening message from the girl.

"There comes a point when you've had enough, and i had had enough at that point," said Kirra Neal.

So Kirra and the girl used Facebook to schedule a fight for Tuesday night.  But on Tuesday afternoon, Kirra says she got a Facebook message that the girl was outside her home.

"I open up my door, run down my steps, run out my door and that's when the fight happened.  The last thing I'll be thinking is, 'Oh, I better close my door.'  I'm not going to be thinking that," Neal said.

During the fight, both girls went to the ground.  Kirra stood up, but before the other girl could get up, the dog attacked her.

"He grabber her by the arm, pulled her back a little bit away, then grabbed her by the back of her neck and bit her," said Neal.

But contrary to what family members of the dog bite victim told News Channel 3 on Wednesday, the dog was not commanded to attack.

"My dog doesn't no any commands, like to kill.  He barely even knows when I tell him to sit.  He was just protecting his family. When I said, 'Get off of her!' I pulled him off of her, he stepped back and saw she was walking away.  He's not a vicious dog, he was not going to keep on attacking.  He was just trying to make sure that I was okay," said Neal.

She also believes pit bulls are unfairly judged by people.

"Even if a chihuahua can't do that much damage, it's going to protect its family member just like any dog will.  Tonka, my dog, did his job and he did his job well.  I wish that wouldn't of happened, but he's a good dog, he's a good family dog, and that shows that he's a good guard dog and he wants to protect his family," said Neal.

Police say there will be no criminal charges filed against either girl and Animal Control has found the dog is not registered in Fortuna and does not have the necessary vaccinations.  The owners will have the chance to address those issues.

The girl who was bit by the dog was released from Redwood Memorial Hospital Wednesday morning.