A Pickens County family is counting their blessings after a young girl was attacked by a large breed dog over the weekend.

The girl attacked Sunday afternoon in Pickensville is 10-year-old Laniyah Wilson from Columbus, Mississippi. She was visiting her family for the weekend when the incident occurred. The attack took place on Jim Locke Road where Laniyah’s grandmother lives.

According to Kiyah Nickelson, Laniyah’s cousin, the entire incident happened in a flash.

“For her to be so kind and sweet, you would not think she is the age she is,” Nickelson said. “She is very talkative, sweet, and whatever she got, she will give it to you. That is just the kind of person she is. She is very kind.”

Pickens county sheriff Todd Hall said Laniyah had walked onto or near the dog owner’s property when the dog attacked her. He believes the mauling was an unfortunate accident and does not expect the dog owner to be charged with any crimes at this time, since there is no leash law in Pickens County and no reports of this particular dog being a nuisance in the past.

“There was no intent or no malicious actions on the owner’s part that we are aware of,” Hall said.
Laniyah’s family said she suffered bites and abrasions to her face and the back of her head, but is expected to be alright.

“I am very thankful,” Nickelson said. “When it first happened, she cried a little in the ambulance. She didn’t cry, she didn’t yell. When we made it to the Children’s Hospital, she was laughing, talking very strong. She wasn’t in fear of nothing. She told everybody she loved them. And she was just talking. … She changed everybody’s feelings about the situation.”

Hall said the dog has been euthanized and is being tested for rabies. Laniyah was discharged from Children’s of Alabama yesterday. She is at home recovering in Columbus.

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