SACO (AP) – A woman is recuperating from injuries she suffered after a pit bull attacked her as she walked her 7-month-old terrier in her neighborhood.

Amy Bagley, 33, said the pit bull charged toward her Monday afternoon, grabbing her left hand in its mouth.

“I picked up my little dog to protect him,” Bagley recalled. “But the pit bull kept coming. He was jumping all over me. I was spinning around to try to keep away from him.”

A neighbor, Nick Caras, stopped his car and rushed to Bagley’s aid. Surgeons at Southern Maine Medical Center closed cuts on Bagley’s hand, but they were uncertain how the attack would affect the use of her hand.

Officials said the pit bull was taken to a veterinarian, where it will be held until police obtain a court order to have it euthanized.

Bruce Martin, the local animal-control officer, identified the pit bull’s owner as Kevin Birkemose, who will face charges that could include letting a dog run loose, harboring a dangerous dog and keeping an unlicensed dog.

Martin said Birkemose has had previous problems with the animal. “The dog can’t coexist with other animals or people,” Martin said.

Birkemose couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Portland Housing Authority banned pit bulls from its apartments three years ago after a tenant was attacked by two pit bulls and suffered cuts to her chest and legs.

AP-ES-02-11-04 1216EST



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