UPDATE: Dog wanted for attacking Athens child in custody - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Dog wanted for attacking Athens child in custody

Posted: Updated:
ATHENS, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A dog wanted for attacking a 9-year-old Athens girl was found last week.

Athens police confirm 5-year-old Zeus was found on January 5.

Zeus is being held at the animal control shelter.

April Gaston told Channel 3, the dog attacked her 9-year-old daughter while the girl was trying to feed him.

Zeus was taken to the Athens Animal Control facility for quarantine but somehow escaped after one day.

Animal control officials say Zeus has not shown any signs of aggression, but his future is unknown.

The child who was attacked required 30 stitches and is recovering.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story. 


PREVIOUS STORY: A local mom is worried a large dog that attacked her little girl could hurt another child if it's not found.  The dog somehow escaped from Athens Animal Control just one day into quarantine.

Authorities spent the day trying to find it. The girl's mom gave Channel 3 permission to use photos of her daughter, we blurred them but some of you may still consider them graphic.  

"It's just been a rough emotional ride for her," said April Gaston, Victim's mother. "She's having nightmares, afraid to stay in rooms by herself, upset she doesn't want to see any pictures of any dogs." 

April Gaston says a dog mauled her 9-year-old daughter at the girl's dad's house. The little girl was trying to feed the dog when it happened.

"She's sustained bites to her face and across her nose are under the chin," said Gaston. "She took bites to her ear and to her head above the ear. She also had multiple places around her head, bruising on her back and down her arms."

The girl has more than 30 stitches now and some scars forever.  According to the police report, the dog had only been at with her father's family for 10 days.

Animal control officers took it for a mandatory quarantine last week. Officials say the more than 100-pound dog escaped 24-hours later.   

"It's ridiculous to me this dog is unaccounted for and it's this dangerous," said Gaston. 

The building has no signs of a break-in. Officers believe the dog left the kennel on his own and climbed the fence or left through a gate someone opened.

They contacted authorities and Athens Police Department and since then have been working with them and McMinn County Sheriff's Department and Animal Control to locate the animal," said Matthew Marhsall, Director of Purchases and Risk Management.  

Reporter: "At what point is the public notified about a dog that's potentially dangerous?" Marhsall: " I don't know the standard operating procedure for that."

We've since learned that Animal Control's Standard Operating Procedure is to contact Athens Police and the Health Department, which they say they did, then it would be up to the Health Department to notify the public if it's deemed necessary. 

Our calls to both agencies have not yet  been returned.

"My fear is this dog on the loose, what happens if someone has picked it up and taken it into a house where there's a child," said Gaston. "If they've not seen this news story, Athens city has not warned the public about this dog."

Powered by Frankly