Sydney Bailey

Sydney Bailey was attacked by a neighbor's pit bull last Thursday and spent time at two hospitals before returning home Monday evening. Angela Bailey, Sydney's mother, said the soon-to-be 8-year-old needed 106 external stitches and additional internal stitching. 

A Maryville girl attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull last week had to visit two hospitals and required over 100 stitches, her mom said, but is now back home and recovering.

Angela Bailey said her 7-year-old daughter, Sydney Bailey, was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital last Thursday morning after a neighbor’s pit bull mauled the child.

Sydney, who turns 8 this weekend, was released later that day after receiving 106 external stitches and additional internal stitching, Angela Bailey said.

But Sydney ended up at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) the following day due to complications.

She remained there until her discharge Monday evening. Sydney’s stay at ETCH involved several procedures, some due to complications from her wounds, Angela said.

“Some of them were really deep and jagged, and the areas that they were in” proved problematic, Angela Bailey said.

Getting Better

While there, Sydney developed migraines and ended up contracting the flu, her mother said. She only recently stopped resting most of the day and night, and will require physical rehabilitation and psychological therapy, Angela Bailey said.

“She’s not able to walk on her own right now, and she’s going to start some physical therapy,” Bailey said. “She’s using a wheelchair and starting to walk with the use of a walker, trying to stand and gain her strength back with that.”

As of now, they don’t have a timetable for Sydney’s recovery.

“She’s starting to do better and headed in the right direction,” Angela said. “... She’s been seen by a child psychologist. They said she’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and will continue to need therapy, obviously, after going through something like that.”

Playing outside

Sydney isn’t really talking a whole lot right now, Bailey said, but has been able to tell her mother what happened. It was last Thursday morning when Sydney and her brother, 5-year-old Rylan Bailey, were playing outside the Reagan Mill Road residence belonging to Angela Bailey’s father.

Bailey said she and her three children are currently staying there while her husband, Adam Bailey, is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. While Adam Bailey returned home from South Carolina after the attack, he is preparing to deploy to the Middle East next week, Angela Bailey said.

Bailey said she was inside when the attack took place, but her father was outside working. From her understanding, Sydney got permission from her grandfather to go and see if the neighbor’s child could come out and play.

That neighbor, who owned the dog that reportedly attacked Sydney, was identified by authorities as David McClure.

Sydney and Rylan then walked onto McClure’s property and Sydney was attacked, Angela said. Two of McClure’s dogs apparently appeared out of nowhere, but only one of them attacked Sydney, Angela said. Rylan then ran back toward the house to get help.

“The one dog who attacked her grabbed her by the arm and ripped her to the ground, and that’s when he got her,” Angela said. “He mauled her arm down to the bone in some places, the back of her left shoulder, under her arm, she somehow got away from him once and was able to start running back toward the house.”

As Sydney fled, the dog chased her down again and grabbed her from behind, Angela said.

“She had a couple of large tears into her bottom and then he mauled the whole bottom of both of her legs as well,” Angela said. “And again, she was kicking, she said, and somehow was able to get away from him.”

Go Fund Me

Angela said she’s since learned there’s a line between the two properties the dog was scared to cross. They believe it’s how Sydney got away.

“I think that’s what saved her, is somehow during all her fighting she got across that line,” Angela said. “Otherwise, I don’t think she would have got away.”

The dog that attacked Sydney has since been euthanized by Blount County Animal Control. Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said a rabies test for the animal came back negative.

Angela Bailey said she has since heard the dog was about a year old. A friend of the family has since set up a page on the “Go Fund Me” website to raise money for Sydney’s medical bills. The page can be found by visiting and searching for “Support Sydney Bailey.”

As of Wednesday evening, the page had raised $1,625 in 21 hours.

While the attack may have put a damper on Sydney’s upcoming birthday this weekend, they still plan to celebrate, Bailey said.

“Right now she’s getting her sutures out,” she said. “But we’re just going to kind of keep it intimate right now, with family.”

Crime and courts reporter for The Daily Times.

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