Dog bites, complaints on the rise

STEVENSVILLE — United Communities Volunteer Fire Department responded to two dog bites in less than half an hour on Friday, July 17.

The first bite occurred about 2:33 p.m. on the community beach in Queen Anne Colony. An 8-year-old girl was on the beach with her mother when she attempted to pet a male, boxer-mix dog, which was being walked by a pet sitter, according to Beth Malasky, public information officer for Queen Anne’s County. The dog attacked the child, biting her on her right arm and cheek, she said.

United Communities Ambulance 9 and Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Medic 1 responded and transported the girl to the pediatric emergency room at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, according to Scott Svoboda, public information officer for UCVFD,

The dog was not on a leash when it bit the child, Malasky said.

Animal Control placed the dog in a 10-day quarantine. Because the dog was not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination, the child has to undergo rabies shots.

The case went before the Animal Control Commission at Tuesday, July 28. According to testimony, the dog walker had removed the dog’s leash so it could go swimming and was unaware of any aggression issues. Another person testified the dog had attacked their dog in the past. No decisions were announced.

The call for the second bite came at 3:01 p.m., Svoboda said. The first crew was still busy with the little girl. The fire department sent a support vehicle to assist the county medic unit in the 200 block of Elm Street in Kent Island Estates.

In that case, a 55-year-old woman was bitten when she tried to break up a fight between her dog and a family member’s dog, Malasky said. The woman suffered injuries to her left hand and the middle finger on that hand.

The injuries were significant enough the paramedic decided to fly her out. United Communities VFD helped set up a landing site. The woman was flown by helicopter to the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore for treatment, Svoboda said.

The dogs in that case were taken to Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic, Malasky said. She knew the dogs were not in quarantine but said she didn’t know their outcome, and no case was scheduled with the Animal Control Commission.

Since late March, early April, Animal Control has been bombarded with dog cases, she said. Most of the complaints have been caused by dogs not being on leashes — going onto other people’s properties, bothering neighbors or their children or pets.

Also, since the pandemic restrictions, a lot more people are home during the day, including kids, it’s different, she said. Pet owners need to be more vigilant when walking their dogs.

She encouraged people to take precautions even around dogs they know. With people wearing masks, the dogs may not recognize them, and the masks tend to freak them out, Malasky said.

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