Candy-Selling Teen Talks About Dog Attack

Teen Said She Never Saw Warning Signs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Azjia Vanderwege said she never saw the signs that said "No Soliciting" and "Beware of the Dog." The 14-year-old was attacked by two dogs on Thursday when she went to a home selling candy.

"I rang the doorbell and heard dogs barking," said Vanderwege. "I stepped back a little bit and then they burst through the screen door and came at me. Then they were biting me."

The bite on Vanderwege's wrist has healed, but she said she has a deeper gash on her hamstring.

The American bulldog and boxer mix have been taken to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, and could be euthanized if the owner doesn't pay a $1,200 bonding fee in the next week. Both dogs have a history of biting people.

Vanderwege said she was selling candy with other teens who are part of a summer program called Rocky Mountain Teens. The kids go door to door selling candy, and top sellers get to go on trips. Vanderwege said participants sell alone or in pairs.

KRDO Newschannel13 talked to Vanderwege Tuesday as she and several other teen girls were on their way to sell. The leader of the group avoided our camera and told the girls by phone that she didn't want to talk to us. Vanderwege's grandmother, her legal guardian, said that she's checked into the program, and that it's a good way for teens to earn money and stay out of trouble.

Vandewege said she doesn't take responsibility for what happened. She said she regularly goes to doors with No Soliciting signs, and some times, those people buy.

"There might have been a No Soliciting sign, but that doesn't give the dogs the right to attack me," she said.

Vanderwege said she doesn't believe the dogs were at fault, and doesn't want them to be put down. She said the owner should do a better job restraining her animals.

The owner of the dogs, Dawn Last, said she's posted the signs in her yard to protect people.

"(The dogs) wouldn't have been dangerous if the girl had not come into my yard," said Last. "We've hung the signs, we've done everything they've asked us and now we're going to be punished again."

Last has a court date on July 5. The $1,200 she has to pay goes toward kenneling costs and testing for rabies. Last said she's having trouble coming up with that money.

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