An 8-year-old girl was viciously attacked by a pit bull-type dog in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Local media reports on Wednesday said her injuries were so severe that she needed 80 stitches to her head and body.

Annie McFadden, a student at St Patrick’s Primary School in the New Lodge area of north Belfast, was pinned to the ground and mauled by the dog when she stepped out of her home. When she got up and tried to escape, the dog attacked her again. The girl was taken to two hospitals for treatment. She received 20 stitches to a head wound, including her forehead, and 60 more to her chest, arms and upper body.

Belfast City Council said its dog wardens were investigating the attack and "we cannot comment further while the investigation is ongoing," BBC reported.

Anne-Marie O’Dwyer, the girl's grandmother, said doctors told the family that a wound on Annie’s chest was very close to piercing her heart. O’Dwyer said witnesses to the attack told the family that a pit bull-type dog attacked the girl. She said two men tried to grab the animal but after Annie tried to run, it resumed the attack.

“I feel disgusted that the dog was off the lead, especially a dog like that, with kids playing,” O’Dwyer said. “She just keeps saying ‘Why did the dog jump me? She just doesn’t understand. She didn’t go near the dog. The dog went to her.”

“She is having nightmares and everything. She could be dead, without a doubt. I wouldn’t like to see any other child going through this," the grandmother added, according to local reports.

Pit bulls are ferocious dog breeds. In the U.S., several unprovoked attacks are reported where the dog breed targeted children and sometimes elderly people.

Earlier this month, an 83-year-old woman who was mauled by two pit bull mix dogs in Tacoma, Washington, was permanently disfigured following the attack. Local police said the pit bull mix dogs escaped a yard nearby and attacked the woman. The dogs belonged to the grandson of the victim's friend. They allegedly knocked the woman to the ground and bit her. She was taken to a local hospital and survived, but was permanently disfigured.