9-year-old Massachusetts Girl Repeatedly Kicks Pit Bull to Save Family Dog

A nine-year-old repeatedly kicked a pit bull in order to save her beloved family dog, according to reports.

Nicolina Pasquale was walking her great uncle's pet near her home in Worcester, Massachusetts, when the incident occurred.

At one point during the walk, the pit bull approached Pasquale and the family dog—an eight-year-old Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix called Peaches.

"We were like right there, in front of the hills, I told the dog to come," Pasquale told Spectrum News 1. "And then she wasn't moving. So I looked back and saw a pit bull charging."

The pit bull began attacking Peaches prompting the nine-year-old to jump in and defend the family dog.

"I kicked the pit bull five times," Pasquale said. "It would not let go."

Some neighbors then noticed what was happening and rushed to help the girl. Among them was local resident Amanda Augusto.

"I could tell that the girl was really upset and I saw she was walking the dog," Augusto told Spectrum. "And I saw the other dog basically with the other dog in its mouth."

Augusto and Pasquale eventually managed to free Peaches from the grip of the pit bull and they kept the family dog safe until animal control officials arrived.

While Peaches survived the attack from the larger pit bull, the pet did suffer some serious injuries. The dog has now been reunited with its family following treatment.

Pasquale''s mother, Jonelle Garofoli, told Spectrum how important Peaches was to the family.

"Just recently, about a year and a half ago, my aunt passed away and Peaches was a service dog for her," Garofoli said. "She had dementia and then ended up passing by Alzheimer's. Since then, my uncle and Peaches, they're very close so it's almost like an extension of her."

Garofoli said she is proud of her daughter's actions, although she would not have encouraged her to fight off a potentially dangerous animal.

"I think in her situation, knowing how much the dog means to my uncle, just went into that superhuman strength, fight or flight," Garofoli said.

Earlier this month, a court in England heard gruesome details of a similar attack in which a pet Shih Tzu was fatally injured.

Barbara Griffiths was walking her pet Daisy in the town of Prestwich, northwest England, when a Staffordshire bull terrier attacked them both, the Manchester Evening News reported. The woman was left with a permanently disfigured finger after the attack.

An angry pit bull
Stock image showing an angry pit bull. A nine-year-old repeatedly kicked a pit bull in order to save her beloved family dog. iStock