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Little girl in good spirits after dog attack; father wants animal put down

NORMANDY, Mo. – A toddler is recovering after being attacked by a dog at a Christmas celebration in north St. Louis County. Her parents and Normandy police want help finding the dog to make sure no one else gets hurt.

“When you ask her what’s going on she says, ‘A dog eat me,'” said Donte Howard, the girl’s father. “That’s kind of heartbreaking to hear.”

Dionne Howard, 2, had just arrived at her great-grandmother’s house on Wooddale Lane near Bermuda Road in Normandy on Sunday when the family noticed an unknown dog near the home.

Howard said the dog was not growling or barking but his father shook a coat at the dog to scare it away. Instead, the dog lunged at the toddler, knocking her and her young cousin to the ground.

The dog bit Dionne’s face then ran away.

A Normandy Police Department’s Facebook post includes photos of her wounds with a warning about the graphic images. Police have asked for the public’s help finding the dog. Descriptions of the animal vary.

Howard described the dog as stocky with white and tan markings.

Relatives rushed Dionne to the hospital. Howard, who was riding in a separate vehicle, met them there. Howard saw the open wound where the dog bit his daughter’s cheek.

While the injury is hard to look at, Howard said his daughter has not complained about pain much.

“She has been a true trooper,” he said. “I’ve been breaking down, it seems, like about every other hour. She just wants to play and be herself; be her happy, little, loving, careful, smart, joyful self.”

Doctors at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital stitched Dionne’s face and used leech therapy to aid in the healing. She was released from the hospital on Christmas Day and will see a plastic surgeon Friday, December 28.

The Howards are focused on tracking down the aggressive animal so it does not hurt anyone else. Howard believes someone knows who owns the dog that attacked his daughter.

“I would hope that they come forward, or someone that knows that dog, so that we can put that dog down because that dog does not deserve to be on the streets whatsoever,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Normandy Police Department at 314-385-3300 (ext. 3173).

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