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3-year-old New York girl attacked by uncle's two pit bulls remains hospitalized with 'severe injuries'

Charley Pierce is recovering at the Albany Medical Center following the incident and will require several surgeries and skin grafts to treat her injuries

A young New York girl has been hospitalized with serious injuries after her uncle's two pit bulls attacked her. According to the Daily Gazette, three-year-old Charley Pierce sustained multiple gruesome injuries after she was attacked by the pit bulls this past Friday, May 31, on Clayton Road in Schenectady.

The Schenectady Fire Department responded to the residence at 437 Clayton Road at approximately 7.48 pm that evening and rushed the young girl to Albany Medical Center, where she remained hospitalized this week.

Speaking about the incident, Assistant Schenectady Fire Department Chief Don Mareno said that the three-year-old had what he described as "severe injuries", though he did add that her condition was not life-threatening.

Her relatives said the two dogs literally ripped the skin off Charley's legs and that the attack has left her suffering with extensive muscle and nerve damage. They said the injuries were so severe that they would require more surgeries and skin grafts. They also said she sustained black eyes, puncture wounds, and lacerations to her scalp, and that her ear had to be repaired after it was partially ripped off during the attack. Local media shared pictures where the three-year-old can be seen with facial bruising and swelling.

Court documents indicated that both the victim and the dogs resided at the Woodlawn neighborhood residence where the attack occurred, and a family member told the Times Union that the family had lingering concerns about the "living situation".

They revealed that Charley lived with her father, two of his siblings, grandmother, four dogs — the two pit bulls, a cocker spaniel and an English bulldog Boston terrier mix — and several cats in the home and that her mother was homeless. They confirmed they had called the Schenectady County Child Protective Services to report the incident.

The two pit bulls, which police documents identify as "Damon" and "Stiyles", were seized by the Schenectady Animal Hospital and are in the custody of animal control. Each dog is in a 10-day quarantine and it is currently unclear what will happen to them.

Charley's uncle, 28-year-old Salvatore DiNovo, is facing a total of eight misdemeanor charges, four for each dog. These include state agricultural and markets law charges as well as city ordinance violations for "unlawful behavior of a dangerous dog" and "unlicensed dogs". He is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Friday, June 7. Potential penalties include muzzling the dogs, purchasing a liability insurance policy worth up to $100,000, neutering, and implanting the dogs with a microchip.

While Charley is said to be recovering well and her family has insisted that she is safe at the Clayton Road home, a relative and her husband who live out of state have reportedly petitioned Schenectady County Family Court to gain custody of her.