A six-year-old girl is recovering with more than a dozen stitches to her face after she was bitten by a dog.

The incident happened on Sunday night at a Cambridge townhome complex. The girl’s father, Michael Dos Santos, says the owner of the dog is the parent of one of her friends.

“I’m so lucky that this didn’t go bad, that my daughter is still alive,” says Dos Santos. “I’m very lucky that it wasn’t any worse.”

The girl needed a total of 19 stitches.

Public Health confirms they’re investigating and says the animal is under observation at the owner’s home. In a statement, the manager of health protection, Brenda Miller, says:

“The public health inspector will conduct an on-site visit with the animal owner at the end of the 10 day observation period to verify the dog is alive and healthy and if so release it from the observation period as rabies will no longer be a risk.”

The organization says that the owner is cooperating with their investigation.

Dos Santos says the dog has to be leashed and muzzled if it goes outside, but that it was also on a leash when his daughter was bit.

“What is stopping this dog from doing it again?” he asks. “Because the dog could run out the door, they have kids that are in and out—it’s summer time.”

Dos Santos says he doesn’t want the dog to be put down, but for the safety of the neighbourhood kids, he thinks the animal should be removed from the area.

“My daughter might have permanent nerve damage,” Dos Santos says. “We don’t know yet. We don’t know the extent of the damage that was done.”

On May 30, a spokesperson for the City of Cambridge says the dog has been designated as dangerous by Animal Control.

"Because the dog attacked a human, Animal Control has imposed a dangerous dog designation that carries extra requirements the owner must abide by and will remain with the dog for the safety and security of the public," the spokesperson said in an email.

CTV has not been able to confirm the breed of the dog involved.