Dog Bite Sends Johnson City Girl To Hospital
By Nate Morabito
Reporter / WJHL
Published: July 3, 2008
A German Shepherd/Great Dane mix remains quarantined today after biting a nine year-old girl. Washington County, Tennessee, deputies say doctors admitted the child to the hospital Wednesday after the dog attacked her Tuesday night. The dog lived at Denise Anders’ home on the 200 block of Baxter Street in Johnson City.
“He’s not a vicious dog,” Anders said. “He’s never done anything. There’s nobody around here afraid of the dog.”
Deputies say it is still unclear what provoked the dog to attack. The victim’s mother told deputies her child was just bending down to pick up a toy when the dog bit her, but a witness told them a different story.
“The child was down here by herself, sitting on the dog, and had the chain wrapped around the dog’s neck,” Anders said. “If someone’s got me down with a chain wrapped around my neck, I’m going to get defensive.”
Although the girl’s injuries were not life-threatening, doctors recommended surgery, Washington County Deputy Lt. Gary Wiseman said. He met the victim at the hospital. The dog gave her four or five puncture wounds, he said. They included injuries to her ear, face, and neck, Wiseman said.
“It could have been much worse,” Wiseman said. “There could have been a lot of tearing and disfigurement.”
The dog was chained at the time, leading Wiseman to believe the dog felt threatened.
“If you’re outside the circle, you’re probably alright,” Wiseman said. “If you’re inside the circle and he gets mad, you may not be aright.”
For the next week-and-a-half, the dog, named Gilligan, will call the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter home. Animal control will monitor the dog for 10 days to make sure he doesn’t have rabies. Animal control says so far, the dog does not appear to have rabies.
Although the dog’s owner is not facing any criminal charges, animal control cited Denise Anders after learning the dog was overdue for his rabies vaccination. Anders says that is all a misunderstanding. She claims the dog is vaccinated.
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