A 9-year-old girl suffering from brain cancer and her service dog will have to say goodbye under the terms of an agreement struck by two New Jersey families after the animal bit another child.
Ava, a German Shepherd being trained to help Molly Kimball in her fight against cancer, will be barred from River Vale, N.J., after the dog bit a 6-year-old neighbor.
The two families were ready to take the dispute over the dog to municipal court Tuesday, but the child bitten by the dog was so upset at the courthouse that the families settled before the judge even heard the case.
After Molly heard that she was going to lose her dog, she said outside court that the pet had comforted her greatly.
"She was always with me by my side," said the young cancer patient.
Her mother, Patricia Kimball, said having to give up the dog is "very hard."
"It's very difficult but it's what's best for Ava and that's why we've agreed to this," she said.
When Ava bit 6-year-old Isabelle Gernhardt, she suffered a gaping gash to her nose and face that required more than 100 stitches to close.
"I never want any adult or child to experience this," said Liz Gernhardt, Isabelle's mother, on Monday. "What hurts the most is this was totally preventable."
Ava will be taken by family friends to Edgewater, where she will stay until a permanent home can be found.