Six-year-old attacked by dogs returns home from the hospital and is starting to walk again

Alicia Battle suffered serve injuries in attack

LAKELAND, Fla. - The six-year-old girl who was viciously attacked by two pit bulls last week arrived home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Alicia Battle is already up on her feet and walking, despite serious injuries and scars all over her body -- including her stomach where the dogs ripped off the skin, exposing internal organs.

At times, the pain is unbearable.

"I usually can't walk but the doctors made me get up and walk," Alicia said from a chair on her front porch in Lakeland.

With help from her dad and grandma, Alicia took a stroll in her backyard where she was playing Thursday morning when she said the dogs jumped the fence and tore at her like a rag doll.

Three others were also bit in the process, including a four-year-old boy.

The pit bulls, named Boss and Promise, remain quarantined at animal control.

"In this case we're going to request that the animals be humanely euthanized because of the severity of the injuries," said Craig Burke, Administrator for Polk County Animal Control.

Investigators said they met with the Tanya Morse, the owner of the dogs again on Tuesday. Morse still will not sign over the dogs.

According to animal control, she filed a written notice with the court to appeal animal control's request to kill her dogs.

Meanwhile, Alicia's family wants to know why Morse was still allowed to have the dogs.

On two other occasions this year, animal control investigated bites by the same dogs during a disturbance with a family member at the house.

Under Florida law, the dogs were not deemed "dangerous" at that time because the dogs were "protecting its owner."

This state defines a dangerous dog as one that has aggressively bitten or inflicted severe injury on a human, has more than once injured or killed a pet, has been used for dog fighting, or has chased a person in public in a menacing fashion.

For dogs that are deemed dangerous, owners are required to adhere to stricter rules when handling them.

"With this, to my knowledge, happing before, there should be no question with them being put down," said Antonio Neil, Alicia's father. "I'm hoping they put them down. They are attacking kids. They need to be put down."

A hearing is scheduled for December 19th to decide the fate of the dogs.
 

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