WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A 6-year-old girl attacked by a pit bull while helping her grandmother do the laundry wants to grow up to be a vet.
Lia Vega was bitten in the chest by 10-year-old Tiga in the basement of 656 West 162nd St. about 9 p.m. Tuesday, witnesses said.
Vega ran as soon as she saw the dog because it didn't have a leash and it looked like it was chasing her, she said.
“If I was faster, like Sonic the Hedgehog, I would be running forever and he wouldn’t even catch me one little bit,” Vega said.
“But I’m not Sonic.”
The dog caught Vega and bit her in the chest. It held on to the little girl for about three minutes, said her grandmother Ruth Naut, 54.
“I thought the dog was going to kill my granddaughter,” she said.
The pit bull’s owner, building super Aladdin Diaz, 41, tried to pull the dog away from the little girl.
“I told her to poke his eyes,” Diaz said.
"I told my kids to get a knife. I put the knife to his throat — I had to — then he let go. She was bleeding. She was holding her shirt.”
Diaz lives in the basement and was getting ready to take the dog out for a walk, he said.
Vega, a second-grader at P.S. 4, was taken to Columbia Presbyterian. At the hospital she asked if she would get stitches but medical staff just wrapped the wound and rubbed cream on it to protect her from infection, she said.
Police took Tiga to Animal Care and Control, where it is being held on a 10-day rabies observation, according to a spokeswoman.
Tiga is a “family dog” and a “nice dog” that used to play with his Diaz's daughter by nibbling her when it was a puppy, the super said.
”Now they might put him to sleep,” he added.
Despite the bloody attack and the lingering chest pain, Vega loves animals — bunnies, cats, dogs and ducks in particular — and wants to take care of them when she grows up.
“I want to be a vet,” she said. “I want to take care of animals. They make funny sounds.”