A Perry County girl returned home over the weekend after a short stay in a St. Louis hospital after suffering what her family describes as a “vicious dog attack.”
Zoey Gibson, 7, sustained severe injuries to her right arm Wednesday afternoon when authorities say she was bitten by a pit-bull near her family’s home along Highway B in Shakertown.
According to Brandy Gibson, the child’s mother, her daughter was playing at a neighbor’s house next door with three other children who reside there, when the attack occurred. The dog belongs to the neighbors, and is secured by a chain to his dog house in the back yard. Gibson said all the children her daughter was playing with are under the age of 5.
“The dog was chained to a doghouse probably 20 feet from the deck where the kids where playing,” Gibson said. “Zoey said they started playing with the water hose and she got too close to the dog and it bit her.”
Gibson said she was inside the family home doing laundry at the time of the attack and did not observe the attack, nor did she hear anything. She said her boyfriend, Richard Weibrecht, heard the child’s screams shortly after arriving home and rushed out to get the little girl. Gibson said a neighbor was outside and heard the attack. Gibson said Weibrecht told her the neighbor rushed to the girl and the dog, and hit the dog repeatedly with a broom handle in an effort to get the dog to release the little girl.
The little girl was taken to Perry County Memorial Hospital, where it was determined her injuries would require the need for more specialized treatment, and she was transported via ambulance to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, where she remained until late Friday evening.
“They closed the wounds up, but not completely,” Gibson said. “The doctor’s said Zoey is at high risk of infection. “A plastic surgeon at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital said there will be scarring but the wounds will have to completely heal before they can begin cosmetic repairs.”
Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf said the dog bite incident was handled by the Perry County Sheriff’s office, and the dog is currently being held at a local veterinarian’s office pending further investigation.
“This is not the first incident involving this particular pit- bull,” Sheriff Schaaf said. “The dog bit another individual a little over a year ago. We are investigating what if any charges will be filed.” Although the dog was chained to its doghouse on private property, Gibson feels the dog should not be allowed to come back.
“I never want to see that dog again. It is a vicious animal and I will not be able to feel safe if they let it come back.” According to Gibson, the owner of the dog placed a ‘No Trespassing’ sign on his property the day after the incident occurred. The owner of the dog was not available for comment for the story.