Dog attack sends Hannibal girl to hospital

A dog strayed from his Hannibal home on Friday and attacked a young girl.

According to a release from the Hannibal Police Department, the dog attacked the 7-year-old girl shortly after 3:30 p.m. in a yard at the corner of Quincy and Walnut streets.

She was taken to Hannibal Regional Hospital with puncture wounds to her upper leg, stomach and chest.

The incident happened outside the house of Jessy Wells, who prevented the attack from going any further.

According to Wells, the dog was found wandering the neighborhood by a second young girl. Wells then tied the dog up at a nearby house in hopes the owner would drive by and claim him.

The dog then broke loose and attacked the girl who was playing in Wells' front yard.

"I heard my dog barking and some commotion. I heard some kids screaming and I thought they were playing, but I came out to see what it was and there was a dog that had a little girl down in my front yard," Wells said.

"I ran outside and got down with the little girl. I batted the dog away and it kind of circled around a little bit but once I was on the ground with her, it just kind of stayed away," she added.

An animal control officer was on the scene and believes the dog is a pit bull. He said the dog will be deemed 'dangerous' after what appeared to be an unprovoked attack. He said the dog is a male named 'Capone' who appeared to be about one year old.

Nearby residents said they were unsure of where the dog or his owner live. According to Hannibal Animal Control, the dog was up to date on his rabies vaccinations.

The Hannibal Police Department will investigate the incident further.