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Girl survives attack by dogs in White Earth

Catlin Davis, left, with her hero, cousin Gina Roy, who saved her from a pack of four dogs that attacked her late Sunday afternoon. Brian Basham / Forum Communications

A rolled up newspaper most likely saved the life of a 14-year-old White Earth girl and her cousin late Sunday afternoon.

The girl, Catlin Davis, had walked across the road from her aunt's house on County Road 143, to wait for her cousin Gina Roy to pick her up when she was attacked by a pack of four dogs, which appeared to be pit bulls.

The dogs then dragged the down into the ditch next to the roadway.

Fortunately, her cousin arrived to pick her up shortly after the attack occurred -- but the only weapon Roy had inside her vehicle was an old newspaper.

"I started screaming and hitting them (the dogs) with the newspaper," Roy said.

Eventually she was able to get Davis free, and yelled at her to get inside the vehicle.

"She didn't want to get up," Roy said, adding that her cousin was really scared.

Roy, on the other hand, was in full protective mode.

"One of the dogs challenged me, and I punched it in the face," she said. "I felt like Super Mario."

The dog then ran away, and the rest of the pack followed.

Davis, meanwhile, had suffered bites to her face, arms and left side.

Roy said that one of the arm bites had gone so deep "I could see the bone."

Davis, who was subsequently taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary's for treatment, said afterwards that some of the details of the attack were a little hazy in her mind -- but she does know that she's lucky to be alive.

"I was walking across the road from my aunt's house, and the dogs came up to me, growling," she said.

Davis said, "No!" but that didn't deter the dogs from attacking.

"The big gray and white one pulled me down (into the ditch)," she said. "I covered my face mostly, and tried to whack them out of the way.

"I was going to crawl into the culvert (between ditches), but one of the dogs was really little."

Fearing that the smaller dog would follow her inside, Davis stayed where she was.

Fortunately, it was about that time when Roy pulled up in her vehicle.

Roy's mother, Laura Guthrie, said her daughter had insisted that Catlin should call her for a ride back to her home -- they all live within a mile of each other -- and that call had probably saved her life.

"She (Gina) says she doesn't even remember parking the car," said Guthrie. "But she must have, or she wouldn't have been able to get to Catie.

"I'm so very proud of her," Guthrie added.

"I saved my Catlin," said Roy affectionately, touching Davis on the hand as she sat next to her hospital bed.

The two young women were able to escape and get back to their aunt's home, where another cousin called 911 for assistance.

The call came into the dispatch center at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, said Becker County Sheriff's Deputy Tyron Warren.

"The White Earth Police Department is handling the investigation," he said.

By the time he arrived on the scene, Warren added, Davis was "being tended to by her family."

White Earth Police Department Administrative Sergeant Jeremy Cossette said the four dogs were taken into custody, and one of them was put to sleep "at the owner's wishes."

"The other three dogs have been quarantined," he said Tuesday, adding that the dogs will be monitored for signs of rabies for 10 days.

"It appears that only one of the dogs was the attacker," Cossette added.

No further information about the owner's identity was released by the WEPD on Tuesday.

Davis was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.