Family seeking answers after 5-year-old brutally attacked by dog in Fort Lauderdale

Warning: Video contains graphic images

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The family of a 5-year-old girl is looking for answers after a dog brutally attacked her at a park in Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.

Officials say the dog and its owner have since been identified.

Florian Becker, the girl’s father, said his wife and children were at a playground at Horrt Park around 1 p.m. when a woman asked them if they wanted to pet her dog.

Local 10 News obtained sounds from the security cameras at the park where the girl was heard screaming.

“She’s a sweet little girl -- she’s very strong and very thoughtful, but this is absolutely terrifying,” said the father. “This was near fatal. If my wife had not been there, this dog would’ve killed my daughter.”

Becker told Local 10 News reporter Christian De La Rosa that the owner of the dog didn’t take control as his daughter was being attacked.

“All of a sudden, the dog turned around and bit her in the face,” he said. “The owner of the dog didn’t take control of the situation, unfortunately, and my wife had to basically jump in and wrestle the dog away while my little girl was bleeding on the ground.”

The 5-year-old’s mother, who happens to be a physician, then rushed her to the hospital.

“My daughter almost lost an eye,” he said. “It was about an eighth of an inch, at least 20 staples to the head -- probably 40 (or) 50 stitches to the face, shoulders (and) back.”

Becker says neighbors of the park shared surveillance images of who they believe the woman who owns the dog is as they left the park moments after the attack in hopes she would come forward before someone else gets hurt.

“I’m sure she’s scared right now, but we would like for her to come forward. We would like the community to help identify the woman,” he said.

Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Warren Sturman told Local 10 News the woman and dog have since been identified and that the dog would be picked up by Animal Control.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.