dogs attack girl
In this representational image, Foxhounds are seen in their kennels at the Festival of Hunting in Peterborough, England, July 19, 2017. Getty Images/Leon Neal

A 7-year-old girl from Michigan was reported to be in a critical condition after she was attacked by her family’s dogs in Highland Township in Oakland County.

According to authorities, the girl, who was not named, was bitten when she opened the gate of an outdoor pen where the dogs were being kept on Thursday. Deputies said two dogs knocked the girl to the ground and attacked and bit her.

Fox affiliate KTVI reported that her 6-year-old brother witnessed the attack and ran to the house to get their mother. She managed to get the dogs away from her daughter but sustained a deep bite wound to her right arm.

Meanwhile, the girl suffered deep bite wounds to her neck and trachea. She was reported to be in critical, but stable condition at the University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital and was expected to recover.

The parents of the girl took in rescue dogs and reportedly had a total seven in their charge, local publication Hometown Life reported. The two dogs that had attacked a girl had been with the family a few weeks and were from a humane society in Pennsylvania.

One of the dogs was taken into custody by Oakland County Animal Control but the other had escaped under the pen’s fence. The parents signed over four of the five other dogs to Animal Control.

Ron Shankin, the supervisor at the organization, said live traps had been set out to capture the dog. The owner had described it was as possibly a shepherd-husky mix with white fur. Shankin also said he was not sure how the dog would react to people.

“Is this going to be the kind of dog that if approached it will run away? We don't know. It's not from here...who knows where it will go."

Hometown Life also quoted Shankin saying that the Oakland County Sheriff's Office had sent a helicopter in the area Friday, Dec. 1, to search for signs of the dog. Meanwhile, the dog that was taken into custody was assessed by a veterinarian. Shankin said that the dog showed signs of being a wolf-hybrid and based on its physical features, body size, length, coat, facial markings, and the howling sound it made.

"We are looking at doing a DNA test on the dog we have here," he said, adding that ownership of wolf hybrids is illegal in Michigan.

"You can't own a wolf hybrid in Michigan as of 2000. If you owned one before the law took effect you were grandfathered in."

However, Shankin added that it would not be possible to know if the dog in custody was a wolf hybrid until after DNA tests were completed.

"Just mere possession may be a problem. I don't know the consequences at this point. It would be something the prosecutors would have to review."

It was reported that the other two dogs which were not involved in the attack would also be evaluated and assessed.