FILED IN: Girls

Service dog may be put down after biting child

Molly and Ava. Screenshot: ABC7

A German Shepherd currently acting as a service dog for a New Jersey girl with brain cancer may be put down after biting a neighbor girl in the face.

The dog, Ava, has been a companion to 9-year-old Molly Kimball for the past year as Molly undergoes numerous rounds of chemotherapy and has endured six surgeries to battle the tumor in her brain. But Ava was taken away from Molly after a neighbor reported that the dog bit the 6-year-old girl that lives next door, according to ABC-7.

Molly’s father, Paul Kimball, told a reporter that Ava “wouldn’t hurt a fly,” and that he believes the dog’s “jaws involuntarily snapped and one of her teeth caught the little girl’s nose.”

But the victim’s mother, Liz Gernhardt, disputes that claim, saying, “It is not a peaceful dog at all, to attack when it’s on a leash is disgusting.” The girl was brought to the hospital where she received 100 stitches to repair her face, and Gernhardt says her daughter has “trouble sleeping” and is scared to play outside.

Gernhardt added that the dog has previously nipped at her son, as well as another neighbor’s child. She said they’re supportive of Molly and wish her the best in her recovery, but they don’t want Ava living next to them any longer.

A judge is scheduled to decide Ava’s fate on Tuesday.