Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the owner of a dog that accidentally bit a Lincoln City visitor Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 15th Street beach access in an effort to rule out if the victim is at risk for rabies.
Lincoln City visitor Linda Jeon was walking toward the 15th Street ramp to go back to her hotel when she was bitten on the arm by a black dog. She suffered a small puncture wound on the inside of her left forearm, but didn’t notice it until later, prompting her to seek medical attention where she received a tetanus booster and antibiotics.
“I was taken off guard when I felt something grab my arm,” Jeon said. “I didn’t see the dog approach me and it let go right away.”
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office calls events like this “play bites” or “attention nips” and info from the victim in this case indicates the bite was not intentional.
“All dog bites that break the skin must be investigated,” Animal Services Deputy Irene Bailey said. “It is a routine protocol and does not mean the dog or owner is in trouble.”
Bailey says the owner is not in trouble and she’s not going to take the dog away but needs to complete her report and have the owner watch his animal for 10 days to make sure the bite victim is not at risk for rabies.
“The legally required 10-day quarantine –usually at home — ensures no further bites, while allowing observation of the dog,” Bailey said. “If the dog survives the quarantine period, then there is no danger that rabies was transmitted to the bite victim. This ensures peace of mind to the bite victim.”
According to Bailey, rabies can live in the human body for years and knowing if an animal is still alive after the 10-day period means the victim has zero chance of getting rabies.
“I saw the dogs running around on the beach about 30 min to an hour before I left,” Jeon said. “They came over to me to sniff my blanket. The owner is an older white male but he was too far away for me to give any more detail. My guess is he’s at least mid-fifties.”
“I’m not trying to get this guy in trouble, though it’s irresponsible to let your dogs run free and you’re not close enough to intervene if something happens,” Jeon said. “I don’t think anyone should let their dogs off the leash at the beach or any other public place.”
Anyone with information on the identity of the owner is asked to call Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services at 541-265-0777.