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Noblesville, Indiana, Boy Attacked By Animal Shelter Dog

Posted on Apr 15, 2009
Seven-year-old Dillon Absher of Noblesville, Indiana, was bitten in the face by a dog, leading to multiple lacerations on his mouth, nose, and face. The injuries may require reconstructive plastic surgery in the future, though it is too early to tell.

The dog that attacked Absher was newly adopted by the boy's family - and had just been in the home for a day. The family had adopted the dog from a Fulton County shelter under shady circumstances - the dog was not fixed, the dog had not been vaccinated, and the dog had not been tested for aggression.

At the time of the dog attack, the boy was lying on the ground with the dog and moved to kiss its forehead. The dog was startled by the boy's sudden movement and reacted by mauling the boy's face. He was rushed to the hospital.

The dog is now at the Hamilton County Humane Society, where he is under quarantine for the next ten days for rabies. After that, it is likely that the aggressive dog will be put to sleep. The dog is a chow-retriever mix.

Those looking to adopt a pet from a shelter should ask a number of questions before adopting, those at Hamilton County Humane Society said. Animals should be fixed if they are over six months, as males especially will be more aggressive. Animals should also have their vaccinations. In addition, families should be certain that the animal they are adding to their lives is not aggressive and does well with children. Many shelters test a dog's temperament before allowing animals to be adopted.

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James R. Keller
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Dog Bite Checklist

What to Do if You're Attacked

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Take photographs of the wounds
  • Call 911 or animal control to report the incident
  • Take photographs of the dog (if it's safe to do so)
  • Gather information about the dog owner (name, address, phone number, insurance info)
  • Contact an experienced dog bite attorney