Girl released after dog bite

NASHUA – A 5-year-old girl mauled by a pit bull terrier was expected to be released from a Boston hospital on Tuesday, the same day the dog was killed.

On Sunday morning, Kaspar Boghossian was watching television with his daughter and son from his bed at his new apartment at 18½ Hanover St., which he shares with a roommate. His roommate’s dog, Onyx, was lying alongside them.

When Onyx started licking the 5-year-old’s face she turned to him and said, “No, Onyx.” That’s when the dog lunged at the child, Boghossian said.

“He just grabbed onto her face and started tearing away,” Boghossian said. “It was a quick thing. It was a matter of seconds. It was a quick bite and pull.”

Boghossian said the girl was expected to be released from Children’s Hospital in Boston on Tuesday after receiving hundreds of stitches on her face. She was expected to return to her mother’s home in Lowell, _Mass. The girl had been visiting Boghossian when the attack occurred.

The dog’s owner, Joseph Rogers, requested that the animal be destroyed, police said. That request was granted Tuesday, and the 2-year-old dog was killed.

However, the male dog’s vaccination and immunization record revealed that its rabies shots had run out last year. It wasn’t licensed either.

As a result, Rogers was charged with two violations for having an unlicensed dog and having an unvaccinated dog, said police Sgt. Richard Widener.

Widener cautioned people to keep a close eye on their children during the holidays if they are visiting a home with a pet.

“Dogs are creatures of habit,” Widener said. “A dog may act differently if it’s not familiar with a child.”

In this case, there was no evidence of previous aggression, Widener said.