The owner of a dog that bit an 8-year-old girl on Miriah Drive has surrendered it to Warren County Animal Control for observation.
“He saw the newspaper article Wednesday morning and called me,” said Animal Control director Kim Pettrey. “He wanted to know what he should do. I said bring the dog in. He was here within 30 minutes. He was very apologetic for what happened.”
The dog, named Atlas, will be held until next week. If he shows no signs of rabies, the girl won’t have to undergo preventive rabies shots which was the goal of the department’s efforts in finding the dog.
What should have been the end of the story was only the beginning. Pettrey says the owner of the dog has been looking for it for over a month.
“The dog was missing for over a month. Its owner came in here looking for it. He hoped we picked it up, but we didn’t. I asked him to send me a picture of the dog and I would notify him if we did find it. He never did send me a picture. He said the dog was missing until it showed up with a barb sticking out of its skin. He pulled it out. When he saw the article, he knew it was his dog that we were looking for. He brought the barb with him.”
The barb was actually a prong from a taser that an officer used in a failed attempt to subdue the dog. One prong attached to the dog, while the other one did not. The dog ran away and could not be found.
Given the positive identification that this is the dog involved in the incident, Pettrey notified the father of the girl that the dog was brought in and appears to be healthy.
“The father was very happy when I told him we had the dog,” said Pettrey. “He said ‘You have no idea how happy this makes me’ and I said ‘I know how happy it makes me, so I can only imagine how happy you must be.’ My goal was to try and keep this girl from having to take those shots. He thanked me for working so hard to find this dog. I want to thank you and the Standard for helping get the word out as quickly as you did. I also want to thank the dog’s owner for doing the right thing and bringing the dog in.”
Pettrey says the dog is very friendly.
“I can walk back there right now and pet him,” Pettrey said of the dog’s temperament. “He’s friendly. I wish everyone could see how aggressive male dogs can get when a female is in season. If they did, they would get their male dog fixed. Atlas’ owner had no idea how aggressive male dogs can be. After the hold is over, he is going to have Atlas neutered.
It’s a happy ending to a sad beginning, says Pettrey.
“It’s a happy ending. The man got his dog back, the little girl doesn’t have to take those shots, the article in the paper worked, and Atlas is getting fixed. I wish the incident didn’t happen, but at least there’s a happy ending,” she said.