7-year-old girl returns to school after being bitten in neck by dog

Family of Johanna Newland talks about attack

EL CAJON, Calif. - For the first time since leaving intensive care, an El Cajon girl who was bitten in the neck by a dog spoke to 10News on Monday after her first day back at school.

Johanna Newland, 7, was bitten by the dog next door, a 14-month-old husky named Mapacha. The dog was tied up in his yard when Johanna went to retrieve a ball that had gone over the fence.

"She went to go get her ball, went over the fence," said Johanna's mother, Monica Serna. "She asked the neighbors if she could get it and then she was attacked by the dog."

Johanna's older brother Elijah was nearby.

"A little girl came up and she was like, 'Your sister got bit, but it tried to attack her once but it missed' and I was like, 'What?'" 9-year-old Elijah Newland told 10News. 

That is when Johanna's 14-year-old sister ran over to help.

"I saw her bleeding right here," said Breanna Serna as she gestured to her throat. "She was cut up a little. She wasn't bleeding bad, but it was scary because she couldn't breathe."

She added, "I got a towel from the house and I put it on her and I applied pressure."

She kept her little sister calm until paramedics arrived. Johanna would then spend the next week and a half at Rady Children's Hospital in the ICU.         

On Monday, the second grader returned to school. When asked what that was like, Johanna shyly shrugged her shoulders.

Although she shrugged it off as no major feat, her mother knows it was.

"No, I didn't think that she'd be back so soon, I thought that it was worse than it was," her mother said. "Yeah, it was scary seeing my baby in the ICU on a breathing machine."

Despite Johanna's new fear of dogs, she is expected to make a full recovery.

Her mother told 10News she has not yet spoken with the neighbor about what happened, but the owners of the dog told 10News last week if animal control says he is vicious, they will do what is right. 

The dog remains under quarantine with county Department of Animal Services.

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