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Dog attack may lead to rabies treatments

Eileen JoyceStanley Kessner holds out his right arm, which was bitten by a dog Saturday while Kessner was near his Northstar Place apartment in Grass Valley.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Dog bites to his arm and groin hurt enough. Stanley Kessner now hopes to avoid the pain of rabies shots.

The 66-year-old Grass Valley man was attacked Saturday near his Northstar Place apartment near Bennett Street by a white bull terrier seen with two teen-age boys. But the boys and dog fled and haven’t been located despite a four-day search by Grass Valley Animal Control.



“Nobody in the area seems to know the kids. I put up a little note with a reward (for $25). Somebody took it down,” Kessner said.




He now fears the prospect of rabies shots, a series of five injections generally delivered in the buttocks – as opposed to the more painful abdominal injections required before recent medical advances.

Before making a final decision about the shots in about a week, the search goes on for a white bull terrier – a 35- to 40-pound animal with a long snout. It’s distinct from a pit bull terrier and looks like George C. Scott’s pet in the movie “Patton,” according to Animal Control Officer Jeanne Allgood.

“We’ve been saturating that area,” she said.

Animal Control wants the dog so it can be quarantined for 10 days to see if it’s infected with rabies.

Dog rabies is rare, said Dr. Darren Phelan of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. But, “If you can’t find the dog, and there’s a concern of rabies, you should start the shots as soon as you can.”

Kessner said the attack happened too quickly for him to fully remember what happened. He was returning home about 4 p.m. with a snack from El’s Bottle Shop on Colfax Avenue, and the dog and boys were near his apartment. The dog lunged and bit him on the arm and groin, shredding his pants but not his shirt.

“Somehow, I was threatening or something. I had no idea,” he said.

He swung his arm, yelled, and the boys and dog vanished. He drove to the Grass Valley police station, met with an Animal Control officer, and then headed to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for treatment.

“It stung,” Kessner said. “It was almost a state of shock because I came back (home) later, and I was shaking and cold.”

Anyone with knowledge of the incident is urged to call Grass Valley Animal Control at 477-4630.


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