Parents plead for information about dog who bit son in Fairfax County

Parents plead for information about dog who bit son in Fairfax County (Tom Roussey/ABC7)

Members of a Falls Church family are desperately trying to find the owner of a dog that bit their son. If they can’t find the owner before Wednesday, the boy will have to begin a series of painful rabies shots.

Fairfax County Animal Protection is asking anyone with information that can help locate the owner to come forward.

On Monday night, Chris Gettings handed out flyers with a picture of the dog and its owner near the spot where his son was bitten.

Chris's 11 year old son was bitten Sunday, March 25, between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It happened near a park bench close to Strawberry Lane and Yates Way in Fairfax County’s Mosaic District, which is in the Merrifield area.

Gettings says his son was with friends and a friend’s father, and as the father was getting a band-aid for the boy’s bleeding arm, the dog and its owner vanished.

In Virginia, rabies in dogs is very uncommon. In fact, the Virginia Department of Health says last year only one dog in the entire state tested positive for it – that dog was in Fauquier County.

But rabies is fatal, so unless the Mosaic District dog’s owner is found to verify the dog doesn’t have the disease, Gettings's son will need to get the rabies shots as a precaution.

“You have 10 days from the time of the bite,” Gettings said. “The treatments themselves are a series of painful injections. We really want to avoid the pain and potential side effects.”

Gettings says he wants to tell the animal’s owner that he doesn’t want to press criminal charges, he just wants verification the dog is healthy so his son can avoid the shots.

Anyone who can help identify the owner or the dog is asked by Fairfax County Police to call its non-emergency number at 703-691-2131 and mention case number 2018-0840160.

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