Man saves girl from dog attack

Published 07/05 2013 10:09PM

Updated 07/09 2013 03:57PM

PEORIA -- A little girl who was viciously attacked by a dog last week gave a big thank you to the man who saved her. But, he feels he was just in the right place at the right time. Sophie Nielsen-Kolding has the story.

It sounded like a hero's welcome when Terry Burnside arrived at a Fourth of July Party. 10-year old Sionna Barber said she wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.

"I really appreciate him saving my life. That's why I wanted to give him a trophy," Barber said.

On June 27th, Barber said she was walking down the 1500-block of Smith Street when she was faced with snarls and fangs.

"I wanted to run when I looked back, but he jumped on me and it was too late," Barber said.

A dog had gotten loose and started to attack. She still has scratches and bandages to show.

"I was really scared," she said.

"She was in the fetal position just trying to protect herself and the dog was just all over her back, just biting her, chewing on her," Burnside said.

Burnside said he was working on a nearby house when he heard cries for help.

"Well, we ran over there. We had tools in our hand, we had hammers and just getting the dog off of her," he said.

Barber's mother, Saveya Jackson said, "I guess a lot of people wouldn't do it, but I'm glad that he did that. He didn't have any fear and just went in there and didn't think about it and just saw somebody in need, in help and went to the rescue."

Burnside said he's just glad he and his son were there to help.

"We would have done it for anybody and just glad the little girl is OK. Just makes my day. It's actually the first day we've seen her since then. Just excited. Just makes my day," he said.

Animal Control says the dog is a Shar-Pei and is in quarantine for ten days to check for rabies. Officials say the owner has not come forward to claim the dog yet, but faces $550 in fines for this incident and others.

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