Investigators: Dog bit trick-or-treater who opened front door

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A Pinellas County family is still recovering from the horror of a dog attack on Halloween. 

The family was trick-or-treating when a dog attacked their toddler. 

The child and dog were separated shortly after the encounter. The toddler was hospitalized but his injuries would turn out to only be minor.

Now the focus turns to how the attack happened, and whether or not the dog named “Lucy” will be considered a danger to the community.

Kelly Nelms lives in the Bay Pines neighborhood where the attack happened and rushed to help moments after hearing the screams.

“He had some cuts on his face his little brother was freaking out the mom was freaking out,” said Nelms. “They saw a little boy open up their front door and the dog was doing what dogs do and protecting their house."

FOX 13 has confirmed investigators believe the toddler turned the knob to the front door of the house where Lucy lived. The door opened, which allowed the dog to get out and bite the child.

“I saw somebody running with the child and somebody on top of the dog,” said Nelms. “My reaction was ‘Oh my god is that little boy okay?’ And then the second reaction was to check on him.”

Nelms thinks the dog is not a danger to anyone, and the action of Lucy biting was no different than how her own dog would react to an uninvited stranger.

“I wouldn't let my child walk up to anybody's door by themselves and be the parent out in the street,” she said.

But regardless of the circumstances, Lucy will spend at least the next 10 days away from her owner and inside an animal services kennel. At this point, investigators do not believe the dog’s owner will face any charges.