Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 9, 2013

Dog-bite victim on the mend

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Four-year-old Madilynn Ponce is back home after being bitten in the face by a pit bull on Monday, still swollen from the attack.

The Athens girl was in the home of a family member near Eustace when she was attacked by the dog. Madilynn was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where doctors went to work on her lacerations.

Amanda Ponce said her daughter is still trying to get over the trauma of the event as she continues the healing process. Two days after the attack, she was having a hard time eating or drinking.

“She’s a little sore, but the swelling has gone down,” Amanda Ponce said. “She’s beginning to be more like herself again.”

Madilynn suffered a tear at the top of her lip on the left side of her face. She needed stitches on the inside of her hip and near her nose. The wound inside her cheek required several stitches. Madilynn will return to the surgeon for a follow-up next week. After that, she will have cosmetic surgery if the doctor thinks it’s needed.

“Some of the things she’s said are so heartbreaking,” Amanda Ponce said. “She’s asked if kids are going to laugh at her. And she’s asked how long till her face is pretty again.”

Amanda Ponce hopes her daughter’s injuries will alert people of the need to keep a close watch on dogs when children are around.

“This dog was raised around babies and he just snapped,” Amanda Ponce said. “All it takes is a blink of an eye. There was an adult in the room with her who turned her back for a second and that’s what happened.”

According to Dogsbite.-org, since January 2005, 34 Texans have died of dog bites. Of those, 26 were the result of pit bull attacks.