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Stray pit bull gets inside Charlotte elementary school, bites 7 children as they run

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Seven children were bitten and scratched Monday afternoon after a stray male pit bull got into a southeast Charlotte elementary school and began chasing students as they fled for cover.

A statement sent out by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools reported the injuries were not life threatening. Paramedics were not called to the scene.

The incident happened at Lansdowne Elementary School shortly before 1:30 p.m. The school, located between Providence and Sardis roads, is for children in kindergarten through grade five.

Viral video showing a dog destroying Jessica Dilallo's car on Nov. 9 in Dalton, Ga.

Investigators said the stray dog, identified by animal control as “medium to large” sized pit bull, first came into the school's playground area while the children were outside playing. When school staff escorted the students into the building, the dog followed and "chaos" ensued when the screaming children began running from the dog.

"Some of the children were frightened and were reacting by running and making noise," Animal Care and Control said in a statement.

"The canine then became overstimulated by this reaction and began to jump on and bite some of the children. A teacher was able to confine the canine."

Melissa Knicely with Animal Care and Control said at a press conference that they believe the animal was more "hyperactive" than aggressive

"I believe if that was the case, the level of the bites would probably be more severe than what they are," Knicely said. "It was probably one of those things where it was playing, it was jumping up...and it started biting at the legs and things like that."

The children suffered a mix of bites and scratches on lower legs and thighs, officials said. In one case, a child was scratched on the abdomen, officials said.

A statement sent out by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools said the dog "bit several students" and their parents were contacted soon after by the school.

CMS spokeswoman Renee McCoy said the dog ran onto the campus when fifth graders were on the playground. It then ran into the building when the teachers called the children inside and got even more "excited" and began jumping and nipping at the children.

A teacher lured the dog away from the children, she said.

The dog's owner was contacted by the school using information on the animal's collar tag. The owner picked up the dog and left the school before Animal Care and Control arrived, officials said.

Animal Care and Control has since contacted the owner by phone, and learned the dog's rabies vaccinations are up to date. The owner was described as cooperative.

The owner, who lives in Cumberland County, told officials the dog was about 10 months old. He said the dog had gotten loose hours earlier, officials said. Records show the animal's rabies shots are current, officials said. However, law requires the dog to be quarantined for 10 days because a human was bitten. It was unclear Tuesday whether the dog had a history of escaping.

The dog's quarantine will be handled at Cumberland County animal control facilities, officials said.

Mallory Keller, formerly of Hilton Head Island, was attacked by several or her roommate's dogs in September. Since then, one of the dogs, Harley, has been euthanized. This is how Keller feels about it.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs

Ann Doss Helms contributed.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs

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