Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pit Bull bite: Cast of characters catches readers' attention

The pit bull story became something of a Rorschach test.

Little did I dream that yesterday's post about the Plainfield resident bitten by a pit bull (see here) would draw attention to so many other characters in the story.

It seems to have been something of a Rorschach test.

One reader wanted to know what about the dog that was bitten? I must confess I was more concerned about the human.

Another reader was concerned that the matter of the specific breed (pit bull) not be pushed as if all pit bulls were vicious, but rather the individual animal. Point well taken.

Others wonder if the police officer should have known or done more. Must confess I didn't check out whether the officer checked the dog's papers, but that certainly sounds like a reasonable expectation.

Two readers pointed out there certainly would have been a different story if the city's animal control officers had not been laid off. Amen to that.

Rob adds that his mileage with regard to the Health Division in a similar situation differs.

Then there were those who tied departmental performance to mayoral leadership, or lack of it. What can I say?

One reader wondered about the city phone system being on the fritz. Good question. It seems to have been a problem with Verizon, and a letter from the company to the city acknowledging the problem was published on the city website (see here [PDF]), presumably shortly after 5:00 PM on the 23rd, which is the time stamp on the PDF document. There is no notice of when, or if, the problem was resolved.

Plus one bit of advice to the victim: If you get to court, make sure part of the prosecutor's deal with the pit bull's owner is restitution of any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance.

We'll still have to see if the victim's wife gets a call-back from the Health Division on Monday.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If there is any doubt at all about the health of the dog, the person who was bitten should definitely get the anti-rabies shots.

Better safe than sorry.

Dan said...

The victim's wife informed me this afternoon that their dog is OK, was taken to Plainfield Animal Hospital.

The officer did want to see the dog's records but they were unavailable because the owner wasn't home.

She took her husband to Overlook (not MedEmerge as I first understood) and Overlook advised her to get in touch with Plainfield officials over the question of the pit bull's rabies protection.

Anonymous said...

I hope there is a report on this dog. If this happens again, the dog should be put down.

Rob said...

when my issue occurred all sorts of paperwork was filled out..sought REQUIRED medical attention ( I started the rabies series ) at Somerville Medical Center ( the ONLY place to go in my opinion..not ghetto-esque at all ). I had to submit lots of personal information to the state health department with the additional comment finish these shots if it comes back positive..or we will be coming to get you. Muhlenberg told me to not worry about it as if I had rabies from being bitten by an animal I would know after I got bit.
Seriously..I WOULD KNOW IT IF I HAD RABIES. Thank god we have adequate medical care near Plainfield as we certainly don't have it in Plainfield.

Dan said...

Rob -- Your comment is marred by the 'ghetto-esque' characterization, with which neither Muhlenberg's nor Somerset's medical diagnoses or opinions have anything to do.

Otherwise, it would be helpful to know if there were different bases for the Muhlenberg and Somerset opinions.

Rob said...

Dan I would assume the basis would be on simple medical guidelines. Google rabies exposure and you will see a simple standard guideline of what to do.
I reported our local ER to the State Health Dept due to how it handled my situation. Go to both emergency rooms (and I have ), my wording was hardly out of place.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I was finally contacted today. First by Marc from the Health Department, then by someone from the Humane Society? They told me they will go to the dog owner's house to make sure the dog gets his vaccines and to check on his health and make sure he's not sick.