A family pet is being held for observation after what was believed to be a bite it inflicted upon a 2-year-old girl earlier this week.
After the child was treated by emergency medical technicians, however, it was determined to be a scratch rather than a bite, and the child was released before being admitted to the hospital.
Richmond County Environmental Health Specialist Holly Haire explained animal control officers were contacted at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after the child was bitten by a Boxer breed canine on Dawn Drive outside Rockingham.
She said the dog belonged to the child’s family.
“Both of our officers responded, and when the first officer got there FirstHealth EMS were already on the scene treating the child,” Haire explained Friday morning. “The child and her mother were then put in the ambulance and taken away, and the owner of the dog provided vaccination information on the animal - which was current. The owner then released the dog to the animal control officers.”
As a precaution, the dog was taken to the Richmond County Humane Society where it will be held for 10 days of observations for symptoms of rabies.
“At that time, if no signs of rabies have been observed in the dog or the child, then the owner would be able to pick the dog up, though there is a fee to the shelter they would have to pay,” Haire said.
She said there is a vicious animal declaration that can be made for repeat offenders, but that determination is up to the county’s health director.
“And there’s also a procedure and hearing that go along with that declaration,” Haire explained.
There is no leash law in the county, and the owner of the dog faces no charges of wrongdoing.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.