14/01/2015 11:36 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Girl Who Lost An Arm After Attack By Pit Bulls Awarded £47 Million


A girl who lost an arm after being attacked by two pit bulls has been awarded $72 million (£47m) by a jury.

Erin Ingram was savaged by the two dogs after she went outside to play basketball in 2010 when she was eight years old.

The attack was so horrific that surgeons were forced to amputate part of her arm, while her other arm is disfigured and her ankles are severely scarred.

Erin, now 14, from Lithonia, Georgia, told local news: "They knocked me down. They started biting me around the arms and ankles. I was screaming for help."

Neighbours tried in vain to get the dogs off until police arrived. An officer then used a baton to fight off the dogs as Erin lay in the road screaming in pain.

One dog backed away but the other dog was so aggressive the policeman was forced to shoot it in the head. The other dog was later found and put down.

The dogs' owner Twyann Vaughn, said the dogs had broken out of the kennel when she wasn't home.

She was jailed for 16 months after being found guilty on six misdemeanor counts, including reckless conduct and owning a vicious dog.

She said at the time: "I'm just very, very sorry that it all happened and I just want to express that to the family. I hope Erin's doing well. I really do."

Erin's damages award is one of the largest in a dog attack case, her lawyer told TV reporters.

Erin will need new prosthetics and more operations as she grows and her medical bills are expected to easily exceed $1 million.

In the States, About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half of the victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 800,000 people seek medical attention for the bites. The agency said less than half of those people require treatment and about 16 die.

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