Traumatized mother after vicious dog attack leaves daughter’s face unrecognizable

Michele Peden, 30, from California, USA, lives with her husband Michael and their four children Samantha, 13, Daisy, 11, Felicity, 2, and Daryl, 1, and is traumatized by the incident

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Six-year-old recovering after vicious dog attack

A mother-of-four has shared her traumatic ordeal after multiple puppies mutilated her daughter in minutes – with ear pieces missing and a face covered in scratches.

Michele Peden, 30, from California, USA, lives with her husband Michael and their four children Samantha, 13, Daisy, 11, Felicity, 2, and Daryl, 1.

In May 2022, they decided to adopt four Queensland Labrador puppies named Amarah, Negan, Gideon and Keerah — pets they had dreamed of for years.

While preparing for little Felicity’s birthday on June 3rd, Michele went out to do some shopping while her husband stayed at home with the children.

But within 10 minutes of leaving, she received a call every parent dreads – her daughter had been abused by the vicious puppies.

A little girl was left without an ear and scratched on her face after a dog attack


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When Michele arrived at the hospital she was horrified to discover Felicity unconscious with deep wounds, bloody scratches all over her face and chunks coming out of her ear.

“They had eaten her ear and mutilated her face, neck and torso,” she said.

“All I could smell was puppy drool all over her head, which made me cry and get sick to my stomach.

“She was missing her hair and was covered in bandages and gauze.

The horrific ordeal happened during a 10-minute window


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“There were stitches in multiple places including her lip, neck and throat.

“I cried, my heart was broken and I felt like I was going to pass out – the feeling of not being able to do anything to help my baby was overwhelming.

“I blamed myself and the guilt for not seeing the signs was overwhelming.

“At the time I didn’t have any other information, but I concluded that the only thing that could have caused this kind of damage in the garden was the puppies.”

Michelle said she felt ill after smelling the puppy’s “drool” all over her little girl’s injured head


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To raise awareness and prevent the tragedy from happening to other families, the parents shared their story on social media, where it has since gone viral.

They also started one GoFundMe to raise money for Felicity’s mounting hospital bills, which currently stand at $2,800 (£2,900) off a target of $25,000 (£20,000).

Due to the child’s serious injuries, she was flown to a specialty children’s hospital and trauma center in Fresno, California, where she underwent plastic surgery to save her ear.

Two of the Queensland Labrador puppies


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After three hours, the doctors said they couldn’t save most of the ear except her earlobe and inner ear.

Michele was heartbroken as her little girl cried for her parents, signaling that she had to get sick because of the morphine used for the searing pain.

“I wanted to hold her but we couldn’t as we were told her neck injuries were too serious,” Michele said.

“Before the incident, she was full of joy, smiles and mischief, but initially we worried that her future would be different.”

Doctors performed plastic surgery on the boy


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The nightmare continued as doctors told parents their daughter’s kidneys were failing and her body was gradually shutting down due to the trauma when they suggested putting her on dialysis.

They also said she would need extensive surgeries in the future to fix her face and ear.

Over the next few days, Felicity stabilized and swelling on her face began to reduce, where scans showed she had suffered no permanent damage to her internal organs or neck.

She’s been better since then and was discharged from hospital after seven days – but still attends cosmetic surgery appointments once a week.

The family’s four puppies were taken in by an animal shelter after local authorities decided they did not need to be euthanized and should instead be separated because they suffer from littermate syndrome.

Michele said: “Litter sibling syndrome rarely occurs in canine siblings that have grown up in the same household beyond the normal age of 10 weeks.

“As a result, a whole range of behavioral problems can arise while they are attempting to exhibit ‘pack behavior.’

“They can be violent towards others instantly, so after attacking Felicity they started attacking each other too.

“The puppies also managed to get into our chicken coop where they killed nine of my 15 chickens.

“While we loved our little puppies we have now sent them to an animal shelter for placement and due to their young age it is believed that if separated they are unlikely to attack again.

“The cops and the animal welfare agency had trouble believing that puppies could have done this and thought with certainty that it was a bob cat or a coyote.

“Unfortunately, if they are not adoptable or still show signs of aggression after training, they will need to be euthanized.”

Michele, an experienced dog owner, also owns an American pit bull terrier, Jimmy, whom the family loves dearly.

She agreed to adopt the four mixed breed puppies from a friend who was moving from the area and couldn’t take them with him.

While Michele acknowledged her “responsibility and accountability” for leaving the puppies alone with Felicity, she said the pooches had previously shown no signs of aggression.

She thanked the family for the support, love and prayers they had received, adding that Felicity is recovering well.

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