Mom searching for dog and owner after girl was attacked

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Valentine's Day was far from sweet for Tawana Barnes-Horn's daughter Leah. She was on the playground just outside her back yard in the Quail Glen subdivision when a pit bull running loose attacked her.

"It didn't warn her in any way that it was in attack mode. It just leaped up to her face and scratched or bit under her eye from the corner of her eye to the end, and along her mouth across to her chin bone," Barnes-Horn says.

While her daughter ran home, she tells us the man she believes owns the dog ran off in the opposite direction.

"He never offered aid. He never came back to assist. He never came and gave his information. He fled the scene with the animals," she says. "To me that's an act of guilt. That's not courageous to me. That's a cowardly act."

Barnes-Horn tells Eyewitness News that while her family was outside Sunday with their own dog, they saw the pit bull with its owner again. And once again, the dog was not on a leash.

"As soon as my daughter saw it, she tensed up and said mommy that's the dog that jumped on Leah."

They called the police and filed a report. HPD got animal control involved. Animal control was at the house when we arrived Monday, and will be in the neighborhood looking for the dog and the owner.

Ashtyn Rivet with Houston BARC says this may be a violation of the city's leash law.

"If your dog is not on a leash, for not having your dog on a leash or the dog can be impounded," she says. "In this case, it's just like a hit and run. You saw your dog attack a child and then you went away. That is completely irresponsible and we are hoping to find this person as soon as possible."

People in violation of the leash law could have their dog impounded, be fined, and face criminal charges. That's exactly what Tawana Barnes-Horn wants to happen to this dog owner.

"Of course this is a legal situation, but I have to find the guy who owns this dog. My hands are tied until I find this gentleman," she says.

So she's spreading the word around the neighborhood about the attack, and she's driven and walked around looking for the dog and the owner. She tells us she may have a lead, but it's in the hands of animal control.

Barnes-Horn says it was a brown pit bull, and the owner appeared to be Hispanic, between 5'7 and 5'10, slim, with shoulder-length hair. She's hoping someone in the neighborhood has seen someone fitting this description walking a brown pit bull.

We will pass along any new information to you as it develops.
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