, Derry, New Hampshire


April 4, 2013

Dog bite divides closely knit neighborhood

Six-year-old injured after falling onto dog

LONDONDERRY — A South Elementary School first-grader is recovering after a neighbor’s dog bit her on the forehead Easter Sunday.

Sarah Stewart, 6, was home from school for at least two days and is scheduled to see a plastic surgeon this week.

Oliver, a mixed breed dog, was quarantined at the police station.

“I’m good,” Sarah said while sitting on steps outside her family’s townhouse Monday afternoon. “Better than (Sunday).”

Large bandages covered part of her forehead and ear.

“We’re lucky it didn’t get her throat or eye,” father Greg Stewart said.

The incident happened about 5 p.m. in the Winterwood Drive neighborhood.

Sarah was playing with bubbles at Lisa and John Palmieri’s house when she tripped and landed on Oliver, part pit bull and part Labrador retriever.

“I (tripped) over his leash,” Sarah said. “He started attacking me.”

Lisa Palmieri was holding Oliver’s leash at the time.

Greg Stewart said he was watching golf on TV when he heard Sarah scream and ran to her.

“She was ripped,” he said. “There was a huge chunk of skin off her forehead.”

No charges have been filed and police are investigating, Lt. Tim Jones said.

“I’m not the kind of person to sue and I don’t want to hurt people,” Greg Stewart said. “I just want that dog out of here.”

Sarah’s mother, Debbie, described the Palmieris as “very nice people.”

Lisa Palmieri was upset, too.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “I feel bad for their family and I feel bad for Oliver.”

Oliver’s vaccinations are current, Palmieri said. Police were checking to make sure so Sarah won’t have to be treated with shots of her own.

Residents of the neighborhood are close. They share cookouts and the kids play together. There was an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood kids.

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