The owner of five dogs that attacked a little girl surrendered the dogs Friday to St. Paul Animal Control, which will hold them while police investigate what happened.
Sgt. Mike Ernster with the St. Paul Police Department said officers were alerted to the incident just before 5 p.m. Thursday, and arrived on the 600 block of Van Buren Avenue to find a 7-year-old girl with multiple bite wounds to her leg and head. She was transported to Children’s Minnesota Hospital in St. Paul for treatment.
Her injuries are serious but not life-threatening, Ernster said.
An online fundraiser organized by the girl’s brother identified her as Sumaya Farah Ali. According to a note written by her brother, the family arrived in the United States four months ago to find medical care for a family member’s congenital heart defect.
Since the attack, Ali and her sister have been afraid to return to school, the brother wrote.
“Sumaya was injured and had pieces of nose, ear, and thigh bitten off. The doctors were able to stitch together the best they could,” the brother wrote. “We want to make sure we can get access to a plastic surgeon to make sure that she has no more scarring than is possible since she has injuries to her face.”
The online fundraising site had raised more than $15,000 as of late Saturday morning.
Investigators say the girl had just gotten off a bus and was walking through the Frogtown neighborhood with her mother when the dogs “suddenly appeared” from a yard and attacked her. A neighbor responded and scared them away.
A poster that afternoon on NextDoor, a social media app, warned parents in Frogtown to keep their kids inside “and keep an eye out for these dogs,” which were said to be pit bulls.
Ernster said Friday that the owner of the dogs was cooperating with police. He added that information collected in the investigation will be forwarded to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office or the St. Paul city attorney for possible charges.