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      9-year-old attacked by pit bull, but vet says don't blame the breed

      A 9-year-old Cheraw girl is recovering after police say she was attacked by a pit bull on Chestnut Street Wednesday afternoon.

      The girl was bitten three times.

      Her uncle said the child was walking with her mother when the neighbor's dog attacked her.

      "He just latched on to her. He's a pit bull. A pit bull will whips on to you. A pit bull gripped on to her and wouldn't let her go. They had to beat the dog off her," said Woodrow Rorie.

      This is one of several attacks involving pit bulls this year in the Pee Dee.

      Corrine Hatchell,83, of Hartsville was attacked by two pit bulls and two mixed breed dogs earlier this month outside her home in Hartsville.

      Eric Rogers,28, of Dillon was critically mauled by two pit bulls on Wilderness Place in Dillon.

      Both Rogers and Hatchell continue to recover from their injuries.

      Florence veterinarian Dr. Kate Atwood of Cashua Veterinary Care said any dog has the potential to bite.

      "I think that pit bulls get a bad stereotype. You know we have lots of pit bulls that come in as patients that are a part of you know they're loving members of their family and you know they make great pets," explained Dr. Atwood.

      She added pit bulls need to be well-trained and loved.

      "They need to be socialized and need to have good loving home with owners that are educated about the breed."

      Atwood said if your pit bull or any dog is aggressive, you need to let others know before they come in contact with the animal.

      Katewood said, "If you have a dog that is tends to be more aggressive, that is warning people about your dog . And you know keeping and following local ordinances and leash laws. And all that is important and a part of being a responsible pet owner."

      The American Veterinary Medical Association says nearly 800,000 people are bitten by dogs every year.

      It adds that any dog can bite, even the cuddliest and sweetest pups can bite if provoked.

      If you are bitten by a dog, you're advised to first seek medical treatment for your wound.

      You're then advised to call police and let them know everything about the dog, including the name of its owner, color and size.

      This information will help police and animal control officers locate the animal.