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NEW ATHENS,  IL (KTVI) – An eight year old New Athens girl was hospitalized Thursday night after being mauled by two dogs owned by the town’s former police chief.  St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputies say one of the two dogs had been given police canine training, though it had never been used by a department.  

The victim talked with police and told them that she was walking with a friend on South Street Thursday evening when two German Shepherd dogs ran up to her and started sniffing her. The dogs then began biting her and pulled her to the ground.  She had bite marks on her left leg, chest area, back, and scratches on her neck. 

The dogs had somehow gotten loose and attacked the girls.  Tammy Clayton, who lives around the corner, was alerted by the screams.

“She’s screaming.  She’s screaming, ‘Oh oh!  Help me help me!’  And the other little girl is screaming, ‘Help me help me,’ and it’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God.’  It’s just like in slow motion and you never think of seeing that stuff and it just happened,” remembered Clayton.

She and another bystander immediately jumped in to help.

“I grabbed the softball bat in the car,” Clayton said.  “I got out.  The mom from the trailer came out.  We yelled at the dogs so hopefully they would drop the girl.  They let go of the girl. She grabbed the little girl and took her in. The spotted one came at me. I just swung and hit it in the nose.”

From there, the dogs ran.  

According to deputies, the two dogs are owned by Dallas Hill.  Hill left the New Athens Police Department in disgrace in November, arrested by St. Clair County deputies for stealing an iPod and an iPad from the small department’s evidence locker.  

Deputies say Hill has been cited for allowing the dogs to run loose.  It will be up to the State’s Attorney to decide whether action should be taken against the dogs.  

Clayton thinks they should.  

“They bit a little girl.  I don’t care.  They should be taken care of,” she said.  “Put down.  And it wasn’t just bit. She had multiple bite marks all over her.”

Family members tell FOX2 that Morgan is going to be okay, but they say she has more than a dozen puncture wounds from the attack.  

Her grandfather says the little girl way lying in her hospital bed Thursday, telling him, “it wasn’t her fault.”