Babysitter Theresa Gunnels told an animal control investigator that it took her 10 minutes to pry the dog's mouth from Brandy [Stephens]'s face, said Dr. Kenny Mitchell, director of Pinellas County Animal Control.
Ms. Gunnels agreed to allow the county to kill the dog, but her husband, identified by Animal Control as James McKinney, had not yet signed a release late Tuesday, Mitchell said.
Ms. Gunnels said she told the child's parents about the previous attack. The dog was not considered vicious in that case because the attack was provoked, animal control officials said. Nonetheless, Ms. Gunnels said, she couldn't understand why the parents would allow her to care for their two children.