Vicious dog attack spurs search for owner
By Patrick Cassidy
July 01, 2008
HYANNIS, MASS. — Keith Harrison had no warning before the dog bit into his face Thursday as he walked through a parking lot just off Main Street.
"It didn't even growl or bark first," the Connecticut man said yesterday. "It just snapped at me."
The 27-year-old was walking through the parking lot between Main Street and North Street behind Puritan clothing store in Hyannis. As he moved between a pickup truck and a car, he said, he was more worried about being hit by the truck than anything else.
That's when the animal in the back of the truck lunged at Harrison, almost ripping his lower lip off his face, he said. Although he did not get a good look at the dog, Harrison thinks it may have been a black Labrador mix.
He said he then heard a voice say the dog had its shots before the truck sped off.
"I had my head down looking for my bag that I dropped and holding my lip together," he said. "I wish I had gotten a license plate."
His best guess is the truck was a grey or silver late '90s Ford, Harrison said.
Barnstable animal control and police have few other clues to go on in tracking down the animal's owner.
After the attack, he said he flagged a cab for a ride to Cape Cod Hospital where he spent several painful hours before being stitched up by a specialist to prevent scarring.
Harrison, a landscaper on Nantucket during the summer, must eat his meals through a straw and does not know how he will pay his medical bills. He will have to see a doctor on Nantucket and still has to get a shot for rabies just in case the truck's driver was lying, he said.
This type of random attack where the dog and its owner are unknown is unusual, said Barnstable animal control officer Charles Lewis.
"The majority of the bites are family members," he said.
Harrison just hopes the person and dog are found before a small child is hurt, he said.
Lewis said that anyone with information about the attack or who thinks they know the dog's owner should contact him at 508-790-6274.
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