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Young girl attacked by pit bulls fights for her life

WESTWOOD, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- Cincinnati Homicide Detectives have been talking with doctors at the hospital and with the prosecutor who is already looking into the case.

The owner of the dogs involved in the attack of a 6-year-old remains behind bars on drug and weapons charges, after police searched his home following the attack.  The attack is nothing short of horrendous.
Veteran police officers are beating themselves up asking, "What if I'd just made it there 20 seconds sooner."  Ironically, there might have been a simple way to prevent this tragedy, pick up the phone.  As Local 12 drove to the scene of the attack Thursday, just a few blocks away there was a pit bull in the middle of a yard, loose and unattended, just enjoying a nice day.
Neighbors on Aquadale Lane say it wasn't unusual to see the same dogs that attacked the little girl running loose.  Hydie Higgins lives right behind Zontae Irby's house where the dogs attacked the child.

Hydie Higgins said, "They been in my backyard and a few other peoples backyards.  They roam the streets from time to time."
Wednesday evening as the dogs tore at the little girl, there was little neighbors could do besides call 911.  No one realizing until too late, the dogs were a ticking time bomb.  Hydie Higgins says her alarm bells were bullets.

"The bullets, pak, pak, pak ..pak.  That's what we heard.  We were sitting in the dining room and looked out my window and seen the police car and panicked like somebody shooting at the police or what not," Higgins said.

Harold Dates of SPCA Cincinnati says there is something neighbors could have done before the attacks and that's call the SPCA or police when they saw the dogs running loose.  For many years, Cincinnati had a pit bull ban.  That ended in 2012 when council members repealed the breed-specific language in the vicious dog ordinance.

CLICK HERE for information on how to approach a dog.

CLICK HERE for information on what to do when an unfriendly dog approaches.

CLICK HERE for pet safety tips.

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