NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- A dog attack left an 8-year-old girl with injuries so severe that they required stitches.
On Monday, the girl's family was still trying to track down the animal and its owner before it attacks again.
Blue sunscreen protected Katherine Neroslavsky's face as her deep wounds continued to heal. As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the girl was attacked by a stranger's dog at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, on August 30.
"My brother was first. He petted it, he was fine. I put my hands like this and then the dog bit me," she said.
Katherine got forty stitches in her lip, fifteen in her head, and endured hours of surgery. Her mother Maria Bersimenko watched in horror as the dog bit her daughter twice and mauled her face.
"I thought it was just missing half of her mouth, and I thought where should I find the missing pieces? On the ground?" she said.
Witnesses took a picture of the dog, believed to be a lab-pit bull mix, and the woman walking it. Bersimenko filed accident reports with the health department and the police, and said the woman gave police a man's name and contact information as the alleged registered dog owner.
The family said the owner and the woman are unreachable, and they have no way of knowing if the dog has its shots or has previously bitten anyone else.
"This dog should be treated as a dangerous animal," Bersimenko said.
While Katherine's physical scars will heal over time, the traumatic emotional scars will last much longer.
"I'm not going to go over to dogs again. I only just can pet my own dog," she said.
Katherine's parents believe they have seen the dog in the neighborhood before and they hope the dog owner comes forward before it has the chance to attack anyone else.
for more features.