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California Briefing / SANTA ANA

Girl's family sues Disneyland

September 26, 2008|From the Associated Press

The family of a young girl is suing Disneyland, saying she was mauled by a dog at the park's petting zoo in 2006 when she was 2 years old.

The suit filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court says the dog, a German shepherd-Labrador retriever mix, attacked Lena Dickerson on Oct. 3, 2006, biting her several times on the face and leaving her permanently scarred.

A Disneyland employee adopted the 6-year-old dog named Hemmingway from the Orange County Animal Shelter and brought it to the theme park two weeks before the attack. The dog was placed on a box in the Big Thunder petting zoo while a park employee held its leash and invited children to pet it, the suit says.

Lena had been petting the dog with her two siblings for several minutes and was saying goodbye when it lunged at her, the suit says. The shelter had called the dog "not very social" and said it had a history of aggression, the lawsuit says.

The Dickerson family lived in Valencia at the time but has since moved to Illinois.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages and reimbursement for the family's medical costs and the trauma it suffered. Disney officials declined comment.

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