NUTLEY — An 11-month-old girl is lucky to be alive after a dog bolted out of its owner’s home and viciously mauled the baby in her stroller, police said.

The nightmare scenario played out March 25 when the girl's mother was taking her infant for a walk.

Police said the dog, reportedly a pit bull that was recently rescued from a shelter, escaped from a home on Walnut Street and attacked the stroller.

A neighbor rushed to pull the dog away from the baby but it wasn’t until police arrived that the dog was separated from the girl and locked in the back seat of a police cruiser, police said.

The baby girl was rushed to an area hospital, where she had to remain for three days to receive 70 stitches and undergo plastic surgery, Nutley police spokesman Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari said Thursday.

It was not clear whether the dog was properly vaccinated. Montanari said the owner had not yet provided authorities with veterinary records.

The dog owner, who police did not identify, was issued summonses for failing to license a potentially dangerous and vicious dog and having a dog on the loose. She is scheduled to appear in Nutley Municipal Court on May 4.

The dog was being quarantined at the Montclair Animal Shelter and its fate has yet to be determined.

“This woman seems very, very distraught about what happened,” Montanari said about the dog’s owner.

“It’s a truly unfortunate turn of events and I guess going forward we just need to come together and see what the future of this dog is going to be.”

Montanari said the victim and her family were visited by the township’s mayor and police chief.

No dog attack at school

Meanwhile, authorities on Thursday said unrelated reports about a pit bull attack at a South Jersey school this week were overblown.

No children were bitten when a pit bull was allowed to run loose in a "small fenced in area" near the George B. Fine Elementary School, Camden County spokesman Dan Keashen said.

"Unfortunately, the dog knocked one of those kids down. A teacher thought the dog was being aggressive and started kicking the dog. The dog ended up in self defense scratching the teacher's legs but no one had any puncture wounds or serious injuries," Keashen said.

That dog was being held at the Camden County Animal Shelter until the owners can provide proof of rabies vaccination.

"Children were scared," Camden County Animal Control Officer Nancy Welsh said. "That shouldn't happen while they're on a school playground."

"The owner has been spoken with and we're going to follow up there and follow up with the dog and do our due diligence."

No charged had been filed against the owners.

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