Search Underway for Dog Who Bit First Grader Outside Flower Hill School

A Rockville mom is looking for the dog who bit her son as he arrived at Flower Hill Elementary School in Gaithersburg March 9, to make sure her son was not exposed to rabies.Flower Hill Elementary School

Rakiya Grant says her six-year-old first grader was outside the front of the school on March 9 when a medium-sized brown, black and white dog jumped up on him and nipped his cheek. Grant said her son went to the nurses’ office to report the bite. There, she said the nurse cleaned the wound and called her. But, she said she believes the school should be doing more.

“We have until tomorrow which is ten days and that is when we would have to start the rabies process,” Grant said. “I think that as soon as he said I am bit they should have called animal control. His skin was broken and they should have took him seriously.”

According to information from Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Animal Services should quarantine dogs who bites someone for 10 days.  Anyone bitten does not need to start rabies preventive treatment if the dog can be found and quarantined. It is important to start the vaccine as soon as possible, but if you don’t, you can start at any time, according to the website.

Flower Hill Principal Lamar Whitmore said the school did take the incident seriously and said he has been on the lookout for the dog every day since March 9. He said a letter is going home with students today describing the incident and asking for information that might help lead them to the dog.

“In hindsight we should have sent the letter earlier,” he told MyMCMedia Tuesday.

Meanwhile Grant said she is concerned the dog might have rabies, but she said she doesn’t want to treat her son if she doesn’t have to because he has asthma that could be triggered by the treatment protocol.

According to Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County Health and Human Services, only one dog between 2000 and 2012 in Montgomery County has tested positive for rabies.

“I am hoping to find the dog still. Rabies can stay dormant in the system seven years and there is that one percent that gets sick,” Grant said.

The dog is described by her son as having a pink and brown color and being brown, black and white. He said the dog was on a leash and the woman holding it was dropping a girl off at the school that day.

Grant said she believes the school should have immediately called Animal Control officers as soon as her son reported the bite.

“I don’t think the school handled this properly,” she said.

Below is a copy of the letter that went home with Flower Hill Elementary School students today.



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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


2 Responses to “Search Underway for Dog Who Bit First Grader Outside Flower Hill School”

  1. On March 17, 2015 at 10:01 pm responded with... #

    Thanks so much!

  2. On March 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm responded with... #

    Terrible! And the woman with the dog didn’t stick around?

    Great reporting job! Looking forward to the follow up.

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