It happened in an instant.
Mackenzie Bell was visiting a friend in Conyers when a wild fox ran out and grabbed her 2-year-old daughter, Avery, in its jaws.
"It ran through the fence and grabbed her hand. I was freaked out and started screaming, 'Something grabbed her,'" Bell said.
Avery yelled in terror as the fox dug its teeth into the little girl's hand and elbow.
"She was screaming and crying," Bell said. "Probably the most terrifying thing I've ever been through as a mother."
A friend stomped on the animal and held it on the ground, then Brandon Timberman, the man who lives in the house, plunged a knife into fox's head.
Jill Timberman, Brandon Timberman's wife, said the animal was behaving erratically.
"We knew it had to be rabid. It was foaming at the mouth and attacked in broad daylight," Bell said.
Ciji Baker, a shelter manager with Rockdale County Animal Control, said something had to be wrong with the fox.
"It could've been rabies, a den close by, any number of things. It definitely is bizarre behavior for a wild animal to attack like it did," Baker said.
Baker said the fox suffered too much brain damage from being beaten to death for experts to determine if the animal was rabid.
This attack is the second in the last few weeks.
Baker said a fox recently attacked another man at the same property.
It is not clear if the animal in that attack was rabid.
Avery is recovering from her injuries but must undergo a series of rabies shots.
"She's going to be just fine," Bell said.
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