A Perryville man is facing a criminal charge after his dog mauled a young neighbor. Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf says a pit bull owned by 26-year old Christopher Gaulding attacked a 7-year-old girl who came into Gaulding’s yard July 9. Because the dog bit another child about a year ago, authorities charged Gaulding with a misdemeanor. Schaaf says the dog was on a chain in its yard when it attacked the little girl. A nearby neighbor heard the attack and came after the dog with a broomstick. The dog approached the neighbor giving the girl a chance to roll to safety. Police took the dog and gave Gaulding notice he’s got 10 days to appeal law enforcement from putting him down. Under state law, if a dog that previously has bitten a person or domestic animal without provocation subsequently bites another person, the owner can be charged with a crime. If the owner appeals within the 10-day period, the dog remains impounded while the appeal is pending, the law states, with a disposition hearing to be held within 30 days to determine whether the dog should be put down. The law does not apply to dogs that attack would-be criminals, such as a burglar breaking into a home.

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