A mother and daughter are speaking out to warn other parents and children about the dangers of dog attacks.
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly five million people are bitten or attacked each year by dogs and about half of those victims are children.
In addition, dog attacks are more common in warmer months as children spend more time outside.
Fourteen-year-old Alex Ramsey was attacked by a family member's Scottish terrier when she was just two years old.
“[Alex's] face was this purple color and then immediately blood just started to come out of every hole where he had bitten her,” Alex's mother, Michele Ramsey, told Nashville's News 2.
The attack happened as Alex was walking across a room to her mother. The dog was asleep on the couch when he suddenly attacked the little girl.
“He started up [by Alex's nose] so he started in the corners and went down her nose, around her nostrils, under her chin in her cheek and then ripped the side of her lip off,” explained Michele.
“I really just remember walking up and getting to the dog but I never remember it hurting my face and I only remember being in the emergency room,” recalled Alex.
Alex's face was so badly bitten a plastic surgeon had to repair it.
Now, years later, as the scars on the outside have started to fade, the attack is something Alex and her mom will never forget.
“To see the pain in her eyes, to know that dog had done that to her was what was difficult for me,” said Michele.
“It's not that I'm scared of dogs, I'm just really cautious about what I do [around unknown dogs],” Alex said.
The mother and daughter said they are speaking out to warn other parents and children about the dangers of dogs, even dogs that have never shown any aggression.
“No matter whose dog it is you don't get into a dog's face, you don't sit on a dog you don't take their food away you treat a dog with respect because you don't know what could happen,” Michele said. “It doesn't matter what kind of a breed it is. If it's a dog, if it has a tail, it has a propensity to bite. They're dogs and that's what they do.”
In addition to children, the elderly and home service workers like mail carriers are also high on the list of frequent dog bite victims.
May 20 to May 26 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.
Click here to learn more about protecting your family from dog attacks.