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Another boy bitten by dog

F.T. Norton, Tribune News Service

CARSON CITY — A 12-year-old boy is the second child in three days to be bitten so severely by a dog he was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The boy was walking along Carriage Crest Drive with his friend Monday about 4 p.m. when the friend’s dog lunged at him, grabbing his forearm.

Susan Kennedy, who called 911 after hearing the boy’s screams, said she’d never seen such an injury.

“It was very traumatic,” she explained. She described the injury as a chunk of flesh missing to the bone.

Tracy Edgar, animal control supervisor, said when the dog grabbed the boy’s arm, “the 12-year-old pulled his arm away, causing a tear.”

The fire department advised police to collect the missing chunk of skin found on the ground with a part of the boy’s sweatshirt and put it in a bag of cold water to be taken to Carson-Tahoe Hospital where the boy was being treated.

Kennedy said after the boy was treated at the hospital, he and his mother came by to thank the family for their help.

“I’m glad he was OK,” she said.

The black Labrador-mix, which weighs 40 to 45 pounds, is being quarantined by Animal Services for 10 days, per state law.

Edgar said the quarantine is to observe the animal for rabies.

On Tuesday, animal control officers went to the 200 block of Mountain Street to collect the second dog involved in the mauling of a 5-year-old boy Saturday.

Edgar said only one dog was quarantined initially because they thought only one dog was involved. The child later told his parents both dogs attacked him around noon when he went into a neighbor’s house for a soda.

Christopher Giottonini received numerous bites on his arms, shoulder, leg and thigh and suffered a 4-inch gash on the top of his head from being knocked into furniture by the animals. Doctors spent two hours Saturday stitching the kindergartner’s head wound, which went to his skull.

Christopher’s mother was relived to know the second dog was taken as well. She believes the animals are vicious and should be destroyed.

“I hope (the owner) realizes that they are dangerous and he shouldn’t have them,” she said.

Edgar said Animal Services has no control over whether an animal is put down for aggressive behavior. However, they can decide whether a pet owner should appear before a judge.

“Should it be a case that actually goes to court, the owner would appear in justice court and one of the judges would determine whether or not the dog needs to be euthanized,” she explained.

Owners must pay $45 for a 10-day quarantine, or $4.50 per day. The cost of euthanization is $20.

Edgar said dog owners should evaluate their animals and if they show any type of aggressive behavior keep them away from guests.

“If you are out in your front yard and a strange dog approaches, or comes at you, stop and yell. You should never turn and run, which is our natural instinct. Just stand still and scream,” she said.

Although there is no “leash law” in Nevada, Edgar said the law does state dog owners must have their animal under control at all times.

“Whether it’s in a fenced yard or on a leash, you have to be able to show that it is under your control.”

A study released Monday shows $5.5 million was spent treating dog bites in Nevada from 1999 to 2001.

The state Children’s Dog Bite Prevention Charitable Fund and Task Force also shows children 9 years old and younger are the most vulnerable.

Over the three-year study, preschool through 9-year-old children accounted for 1,871 dog bites, while youngsters ages 10 through 19 experienced 1,269 dog bites.

The study was released in conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is this week.


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