Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, November 26, 2010

If you're gonna get bitten by a pit bull, don't do it in Plainfield

Pit Bull bites can be serious wounds, in addition to raising fears of tetanus, infection and rabies.

Today marks one week since a Plainfield resident, out walking his dog (on a leash) last Saturday was bitten by a pit bull in the Clinton School neighborhood. And still waiting for Plainfield's response.

The pit bull got loose from its owner's house when the owner opened the front door for someone to enter.

Known for their grip, this pit bull was no exception, biting the man's leashed dog and then biting him -- through a jacket and shirt sleeve -- before someone from the pit bull owner's house beat the dog off with a broom.

The victim's wife called 911 and a cop was dispatched.

When he arrived, he told the wife there was nothing he could do.

To which she replied that since the pit bull was loose and she was going to have to get medical treatment for her husband's bite she needed proof for the insurance company and that the one thing the officer could surely do was write up an incident report.

The officer agreed and did so.

The wife took her husband to MedEmerge, where the bite wound was dressed and a tetanus shot administered. The good folks at MedEmerge advised going to the Muhlenberg SED to get advice on whether or not a course of anti-rabies treatment was needed.

The wife was shown the dog's vaccination papers by the owner and was able to determine the 4-year-old dog's rabies vaccination had expired in June, 2009.

The folks at the Muhlenberg SED advised her that the pit bull should probably be quarantined to make sure it wasn't rabid, and to call the Plainfield Health Division to have them address the situation.

The wife duly called the Health Division (at 753-3092) and left a voicemail detailing the situation and her contact information.

By Tuesday morning, with no callback from the Health Division, and a recorded message that the number was 'no longer in service', she reached out to another division and got someone who advised the city's phone system was basically on the fritz but gave her a number where she would supposedly reach a real person who could handle her problem.

Again, she left a message.

On Wednesday afternoon, I spoke with the wife as she was preparing to take off for the Thanksgiving holiday, only to learn that as of 2:30 PM she still had not had a call back from anyone at City Hall to advise whether the biting dog would be quarantined as suggested and whether a citation would be issued against the pit bull's owner for the dog being at loose and for not having its rabies shots updated.

With City Hall closed until Monday, it will be ten days until she gets any answers as to what to do -- if she even gets them Monday.

Moral of the story: If you're gonna get bitten by a pit bull, don't do it in Plainfield.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

What happened to the dog that got bitten?

Bob said...

Again, Sharon's administration is too much like her. Not much works and what does, doesn't work very often. Why do we put up with this incompetent person.

Anonymous said...

Dan, the police officer does not know all the laws in town. Having an unleashed dog is a violation regardless of how it got to be unleashed. I was in municipal court this summer when just such a case was brought forward snd the dog owner plead guilty and paid a fine. The victim who was there failed to talk to the prosecutor, so no provision was made for restitution as part of the plea. The victim is counting on the promise of the dog's owner to make reimbursement for the medical bill over time. I can understand a dog-bite victim not wanting to insist on having a neighbor charged with a violation, but for the police officer to say that there was nothing that the police could do was incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Please do not press the pit bull breed, in this issue. Animal Control should be dealing with this - has this department been eliminated? Any breed dog can be vicious and those dogs, should be dealt with. Nancy Fawcett

Anonymous said...

I can say it no other way..... Plainfield sucks! We need a COMPLETE overhaul.
This is a beautiful city that is going nowhere but DOWN.

Anonymous said...

City Phone System on the Fritz??

How often does this happen?

Anonymous said...

S O S - We do need help here in Plainfield,our town is a sinking ship.So why is it that Planfielders keep voting the same Pirates back into office ? When are we going to see an elected official in office that wants to do good for Plinfield and not just want to make his treasure chest bigger?

Rob said...

Just to lend an opposing comment to this...
- I had an event with a potentially rabid animal and the city health department was quite helpful and responsive. I found the ER at the former hospital far more lacking in on information and help than the city health department.

Anonymous said...

I can say with authority that if this were to happen months ago, before the city in their infinite wisdom laid off the 2 animal control officers, it would have a very different situation. The dedicated offiers we had would have responded to the scene to guide the police and take care of the situation, soup to nuts! Unfortunately the powers that be don't fully grasp the concept of essential personnel and got rid of those people.
Now we have less cost with much less service! Same old moral of the same old story, you get what you pay for!

Shameless Plainfield!

Anonymous said...

The layoffs in the administration's last budget included Plainfield's animal control officers--this function was outsourced to the Humane Society in Newark. The Council approved, and we no longer have local animal control.

Bad move for the mayor, bad move for the Council, bad move for Plainfield!

Anonymous said...

You didn't say if the officer asked to see the dog's papers, which he should have done in writing up the incident report.

Anonymous said...

The pit bull breed shouldn't be pressed? We don't have animal control?

1 - the pit bull breed should be eliminated, and the owners should be heftily fined. They had to beat the dog with a broom? What kind of a pet is that? The breed is usually owned by people who enjoy the vicious reputation of the dog.

2- Animal control in Plainfield did nothing when you had any issues. They had no tracking system and no effective way to ensure that dogs were tagged. I got a tag for my dog in March one year - and my number was 3.

This is the second incident I have heard about in three weeks where the police did not do their job. They appear to care less about the citizens here. And as for the police being immersed in the murders, I believe the murders are being run by Union County police, not Plainfield.

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Anonymous said...

"the pit bull breed should be eliminated"
"The breed is usually owned by people who enjoy the vicious reputation of the dog."

These statements are nothing but emotional, and are not supported by findings in the literature. While some people indeed chose this breed because of their undeserved reputation, this is a reflection on the owner (as well as anecdotal reports which are skewing our view of these dogs because other dog bites do not receive as much attention in the press), not the breed itself. So, if you eliminate the pitbull, do you really believe the type of owners you are referring to will not get another 'vicious' type of dog? There are plenty more (working) dogs who, if trained to do so, will attack and bite.
The real issue is not the pitbull, the real issue is the irresponsible owner, which I agree, we have plenty of here in Plainfield.

Please don't ostricize the breed, it is not deserved!

dr. emc2 said...

Don't try to reach someone in the Police department .....they DO NOT have voicemail........That's right ....the Police Department does not have an answering service.....The phone will ring......and ring......and......

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Anonymous said...

The person walking a dog on leash has a right to be safe, the dog running loose should have been contained and had current vaccines, no animal should have to be beaten with anything to have it respond. And---the stock photo of a festering bite wound that was NOT the wound inflicted in this case was inappropriate and unnecessarily graphic. We all want lower costs, but without compromising efficiency. PRAAR, and other residents, knew of the problems that would come with outsourcing animal control to Newark and attempted to work with the Health Department without much success. There are many good people in Plainfield willing to volunteer to help educate residents and improve conditions for the animals in the city but every attempt made in this direction is rejected by the administration.We are known to some outsiders as a town of violence. An advocacy program to encourage compassion, especially among the children, could be very effective. As always, the residents are frustrated when obvious FREE talents are not called upon, and are rejected when offered.