Saturday, April 04, 2009

For anyone who doubts that the media misreports dog bites

From NBCBayArea.com:

HEADLINE: WOMAN DIES AFTER ROTTWEILER BITE
Subhead: Small wound wouldn't stop bleeding

So, the woman was bitten by a Rottweiler and then bled to death? Well, no, neither of those things is true:


An 80-year-old Alameda woman died at a hospital this week several days after she was bitten in the hand by a dog while feeding it a dog biscuit, an Alameda police sergeant said. McNiff said it appears a neighborhood dog nipped Newell's index finger as she fed it a biscuit in the area of the Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center.
Dolly Newell, who had lived in the city for more than 40 years, was walking her 3-year-old Rottweiler between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday when the incident occurred, police Sgt. Kevin McNiff said. Newell, who lives on Garden Road on Bay Farm Island, knows many other dogs in the neighborhood and often greets them. McNiff said it appears a neighborhood dog nipped Newell's index finger as she fed it a biscuit in the area of the Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center. The wound would not stop bleeding and Newell got a ride from a neighbor to a local hospital, McNiff said. However, she initially told both her neighbor and hospital staff she injured her finger while gardening.
Newell was released from the hospital after receiving a stitch and later confided in her neighbor, saying she had been bitten by a dog, McNiff said. She told the neighbor that the dog had all its shots but would not describe the animal.
"She told her friend she didn't want the dog to get in trouble," McNiff said. On Monday, friends of Newell found her in serious condition on the bathroom floor of her home. She was taken to the hospital where she died Tuesday of an aggressive bacterial infection, McNiff said.
He said police were notified of the incident Tuesday and have since interviewed family and friends of Newell.
Anyone who may have witnessed the Saturday incident is asked to call Sgt. Don Owyang at 510-337-8319. McNiff said police are seeking the dog and its owner to confirm certain details of the case and that the owner is not in trouble.

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