NELSON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Nelson County Sheriff's Office says a dog attacked Sheriff David Hill's young daughter over the weekend, causing significant injuries.
According to a Facebook post, Hill says the attack happened on Sunday while he and his family were spending time together outside.
The attack happened within feet of accompanying adults, and the dog's owner immediately asked that the dog be put down.
Hill says he did as the owner requested to prevent any further harm or attacks on anyone else.
His 18-month-old daughter was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Animal Control was called to the scene and followed protocol for testing with the Nelson County Health Department.
Hill wrote the Facebook post in response to a public official who wanted specific details and who was questioning if Hill had responded appropriately to the incident.
"As a sheriff, our personal lives are not always personal. I personally feel the importance of being transparent and when appropriate, disclose personal matters that may be of public concern," wrote Hill. "As your sheriff, it is also important to educate and to let our community members know that we too face difficult moments."
He says the dog had shown signs of aggression shortly after being adopted years ago, and it had been aggressive toward its owners in the past, including two attacks on one of them.
Hill writes the owners tried to alter the animal's behavior.
He adds his daughter loved the animal and its name was one of her first words, but due to this attack, he does not know how she will now feel toward dogs. It is likely she will have scars from the incident.
"You can never use too much caution when it comes to companion animals that show aggression," said Hill. "If your pets display aggression, please continue to do everything you can to protect your loved ones. When you feel like you and the animal are not making progress, seek help and use appropriate measures to prevent attacks like these from happening."
At this time, the condition of the child is not known.