After the reality star's pit bull attacked her niece, she now has to decide on his fate

This type of decision is never easy – especially when you consider your dog your “best friend.”

But after RHOBH’s Kim Richard’s beloved pit bull, Kingsley, attacked her niece Alexia Umansky last week, reportedly biting through her thumb and down to the bone, the reality star now has to decide what’s next for the pup.

“At this point I am looking into options to what the next step is for Kingsley,” she said in a statement received by the New York Post’s Page Six.

Umansky, the 18-year-old daughter of Kim’s sister Kyle Richards, who also appears on the show, had to have surgery after the attack, which Kyle confirmed on her Facebook page.

“Regarding Alexia: She was attacked by a dog and has to have surgery. As always, she is trying to make the best of a bad situation. Thank you for your thoughts and well wishes,” she posted.

Yet in Kim’s statement, which she also gave to Radar, she defended Kingsley, saying that “the dog has become very protective of me,” and that “anyone entering the house is made aware that the dog should not be bothered.” She went on to explain that when guests are over, he is kept in her bedroom and given access to a special fenced-in area in the backyard. “The events that led up to Kingsley biting Alexia resulted from the girls entering my bedroom after I already told them the room was off limits.”

But this isn’t the first time the dog has attacked a human. According to a TMZ report, it’s actually the fifth – including an incident that was filmed on the show where he went after a trainer, who told TMZ yesterday that he believed Kim, 50, was “not qualified to own a dog.”

And now, one of the five victims – Kay Razarion, whom Kim has considered “a second mother” – is filing suit against Kim for an incident that took place in March, according to a statement released by Kim’s rep to PEOPLE.

“Her details of what happened [the morning of the incident] are vehemently not true, she walked into my bedroom the next morning reaching across Kingsley towards me and Kingsley went after her,” Kim says in the statement. “In the past Mrs. Razario has sold multiple stories involving my family and myself and was paid for her participation in a book about my family.”

“This event took place on the morning of the first time I saw her in over 10 years after a reconciliation for her part in the book,” she continues. “It’s unfortunate how people can go against decades of friendship when something like this happens and make their rounds to the media for money.”

Kim initially got Kingsley to be a companion after her children moved out of the house, and to help her cope with empty-nest syndrome. But it was clear from the start that he had obedience issues and would chew through her shoes and purses – hence the hiring of the dog trainer. Despite that, Kim quickly became very emotionally attached to Kingsley, making the next potential steps even more complex.

“As many of you can relate, he is my best friend,” Kim said in the statement. “This is a very difficult decision and time for all of us, but the safety of my family always comes first.”

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