Little girl left missing half her smile after the family's rescue dog turned into a 'man-eater'
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A three-year-old girl has been left missing half of her smile after her family's rescue dog attacked unexpectedly, sinking its teeth into her cheek.
Rebekka Bolline decided to foster rescue dog Tater Tot after her daughter, Emily, asked for a puppy.
But within 24 hours of bringing Tater Tot home, things took a dark and deadly turn.
Little Emily had been sitting on the living room floor with her new furry friend, stroking its back, when Tater Tot turned around and snapped at her face, sinking its teeth into her cheeks and lip.
Rebekka screamed as she tried to unlatch the pup's tight grip from her daughter's face.
"In a matter of seconds, it barked and latched on her face and then started shaking her side to side, while I'm screaming, 'get off my baby, get off my baby', in terror," Rebekka recalled.
"At that moment, I just thought that she wasn't going to make it and that she was going to die. I didn't know how to help her.
"I couldn't get the dog off her. I kept screaming. I don't remember how I got the dog off - I blocked it out."
When the dog finally released its clench on the toddler, Rebekka rushed her daughter to hospital with her right cheek hanging off.
The dog's attack, which saw him 'eat through' her face and 'ingest' some of her flesh', left Emily with serious muscle damage on one side of her face.
The family are now awaiting surgery that will hopefully repair the muscles in Emily's face, and are trying to raise funds to cover their medical bills.
"They said that the dog chewed up [her right cheek] quite a bit, so it took her muscle," Rebekka shared.
"They said she won't be able to smile on that side of her face. She has stitches inside of her mouth because the dog ate through her face completely.
"Every once in a while, she's in a lot of pain she'll point to herself and say, 'mummy I die, mummy I die. Puppy was hungry,' which is heart-breaking.
"When she's feeling better, she'll colour or she'll paint a little bit. My whole family is trying to get her things to entertain her because she can't really get up and play right now."
Little Emily is still trying to get over the shock of it all, too.
"Before the incident, she was a mommy's girl. She always did sleep with me, but now it's like she can't fall asleep on her own at all," Rebekka added.
"She's doing better than what I would have anticipated, but she's definitely got that fear of animals now and she used to love animals.
"I will never trust a dog ever again. It snapped for no reason."
Tater Tot was taken away by animal control while the family was in hospital, and has since been euthanised.
You can donate to Rebekka's GoFundMe here.