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Hot Springs woman dies after dog attack

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE (KATV) - A Hot Springs Village (HSV) resident was attacked and mauled by a neighbor's dog early Thursday morning. The 75 year-old woman was treated at the scene and then transported to Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs where she later died.

According to the HSV authorities, Joan Kappen was taking her daily walk, walking on Ornado Lane where she was attacked by a bull mastiff.

"Ms. Kappen was severely bitten, mauled by this dog and so was the reporting person who had gone out and attempted to break the dog off of the victim," said Chief Gary Adams, Hot Springs Village Police.

The dog was under the care of a woman while the owner, Emily Coy, was away. As the dog sitter tried to gain control of the animal, she was also attacked. The extent of her injuries are unknown at this time.

Adams said since HSV in unincorporated they don't have ordinances, rather policies home owners abide by, so the village is unable to press charges.

"We will prepare a file and send it to the Saline County prosecuting attorney and let them give us advice as to whether or not we can file charges," said Adams.

But Adams thinks Saline County might not be able to press charges either. He claims the charge would be "harboring a vicious animal," but a stipulation in county law - in order to be considered vicious the dog must have previously attacked a person, animal or property and Adams said he doesn't believe the dog has any priors.

The dog was taken by Hot Springs Village Animal Control and was later euthanized at a local animal clinic at the request of the owner's family.

Kappen's body was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab to determine the exact cause of death.

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