Girl attacked by large dog in Gresham

Girl attacked by large dog in Gresham »Play Video

GRESHAM, Ore. -- A Portland girl was bitten by a large dog in Gresham on Wednesday. Her family wants people to know about their story so no one else gets hurt.

Sasha Ballesteros’s niece, Yalizta was attacked around 2:30 p.m.  Ballesteros said it happened on NE 15th Street near Kane Drive.

"It was devastating. I didn't know the extent of the injuries,” said Ballesteros.

When Ballesteros arrived at Mount Hood Medical Center, she saw her four-year-old niece covered in blood, and bruising already starting to set in.

"She had a big piece of her skin ripped off, on both sides. And on the left side she actually had a piece hanging,” said Ballesteros.

Doctors stitched up Yalitza’s head, both sides of her face, and her shoulder.  Her back took a beating as well.  It’s covered in bite and scratch marks.

Ballesteros said the attack happened when Yalitza and her mom were visiting a friend.  She said the dog came out of nowhere, started chasing yalitza, and then pinned her to the ground. The family doesn’t own the dog, and they aren’t sure of the breed.

“She said it’s a big dog, but the other family members are saying that he was a pit bull, dark in color, they didn’t say black or brown,” explained Ballesteros.

After an attack like this, you'd think a child would be afraid of dogs.  But, Yalitza's finding comfort from her own dog.

"When she saw him she said 'Oh hi Bartolo. You're not going to hurt me right?’" said Ballesteros.

Bartolo’s love might be what helps Yalitza most as her bruises fade and her scars set in. His love might also be what helps her realize not all dogs attack.