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Growling, 200-pound bullmastiff bites face of woman going for kiss, Florida cops say

What to do if a dog attacks you

More than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Here are some recommendations for protecting yourself if you're attacked by a dog and what to do after the attack has ended.
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More than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Here are some recommendations for protecting yourself if you're attacked by a dog and what to do after the attack has ended.

A Florida woman was hospitalized early Wednesday after a 200-pound bullmastiff that she tried to kiss bit her on the face, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman and a man had just returned to their Brooksville home after a night at a local bar when the dog “suddenly became aggressive and began growling,” deputies said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. That’s when the woman went up to the dog, leaned down and tried to kiss the animal on the face.

The dog bit the woman in the lip area and on her left cheek, deputies said.

The pair returning from the bar lived at the home with the dog’s two owners, who had rescued the large male bullmastiff from Floral City about a week earlier, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the owners tried to step in and “remove the dog from (the woman’s) face,” but he was bitten on the hand, authorities said.

The four residents corralled the dog into a bedroom once they had gotten it off the victim, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and Hernando County Fire Rescue were called to the home just after 1 a.m. on reports of a dog bite, the Sheriff’s Office said. One of the dog’s owners told deputies the dog hadn’t exhibited signs of aggression before.

Deputies said the victim had approached the dog before the attack “for unknown reasons.”

The victim was taken to a local hospital, but then “transferred to a trauma center where her injuries could be addressed by a plastic surgeon,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

An animal enforcement officer went to the home, picked up the dog and took it to Hernando County Animal Services because the residents couldn’t care for it any more, deputies said.

Hernando County Animal Services said that “with any animal bite, the standard procedure is a 10-day rabies quarantine for the animal,” which means that authorities “won’t know what happens next for this animal until after this time period has passed,” WFTS reports.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.

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