Delaware girl improving after vicious dog attack

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) — The family of an 8-year-old Delaware girl critically injured after being attacked by a pit bull in her home says she's responding to treatment but still has more surgeries to undergo.

Todd Ruckle, a Newark city councilman, said his daughter Emily is scheduled for another surgery Friday, and if that goes well, another one on Monday, according to told The News Journal, ( ).

Ruckle and his wife have been updating friends and family in Facebook posts. In one on Tuesday, Todd Ruckle said doctors at the Philadelphia hospital where she's being treated were going to slowly take Emily off medicine that was keeping her in a coma. About an hour later, his wife Maria wrote that Emily had opened her eyes in response to hearing her brother's voice.

"She's responding by nodding and shaking her head," Maria Ruckle wrote. "So happy!"

Jerry Clifton, a longtime family friend, told The News Journal that one surgery to reattach Emily's arm took 12 hours, and that the girl's lead surgeon it's the worst dog mauling she's seen that hasn't resulted in death.

Police said the dog attacked Emily on Saturday for unknown reasons, and that her 15-year-old sister stopped the attack and performed first aid until help arrived. Police fatally shot the dog after it wouldn't allow paramedics to treat Emily. The dog tested negative for rabies.

Newark police Lt. Mark Farrall said the dog had been with the family for a short time before the attack.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.,

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