LE MARS - A former Cherokee youth was hospitalized Thursday in Omaha after she was bitten multiple times by two pit bulls about the head and neck while she was playing in rural Plymouth County.
Plymouth County Sheriff Sgt. Rick Singer said Breanna Buenger, age 10, was attacked Wednesday afternoon by two 10-month-old pit bulls while playing in a fenced-in area at the house where lived at 22652 Iowa Highway 3.
According to a statement from the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, Breanna suffered numerous bites and puncture wounds to her head and neck area. Despite her injuries, Singer said the girl was able to get away from the dogs and get help.
"She actually was able to free herself and she got back into the house," he said.
A crew from Akron Ambulance took Breanna from the farmstead, which is midway between Le Mars and Akron, to St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Sioux City. She was later transferred to Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha.
Cherie Lytle, a spokeswoman at the Omaha hospital, confirmed Breanna was a patient in the facility Thursday night but said she was unable to release information about Breanna's condition.
Breanna, a fourth grader, is a former student at Cherokee's Roosevelt Elementary.
Authorities believe Breanna had reprtedly received permission to go outside to play after school, and the dogs weren't supposed to be outside at the same time. The person who let the dogs out is not the same person who told Breanna she could go outside, Singer said.
"We're thinking whoever let the dogs out didn't know the little girl was outside," Singer said.
He said it isn't clear what caused the dogs to attack Breanna. The dogs' owner, Stephanie Trobaugh, reported they hadn't been violent in the six months she'd had them, and the Sheriff's Office didn't have any history of problems with the animals, Singer said.
Police say Breanna, who attends school in Le Mars, and her mother had been staying with Trobaugh's family in the farmhouse.
The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office doesn't have any history of dealing with the dogs.
Veterinarian John Conley said the dogs, Karma and Sampson, have not exhibited any signs of rabies or other illness since they were brought into the Town and Country Veterinary Clinic for a required 10-day observation period. He said the dogs have been well behaved since they were brought in to the Le Mars facility and have not displayed violent tendencies at the clinic in the past.
Once the 10 days are up, police said, Trobaugh will likely decide whether she wants the dogs back or if they will be euthanized. Officials do not plan to charge her with any crime, Singer said
"We don't foresee any charges at this point," he said.