After being bitten and severely injured while attempting to administer a rabies shot to a pit bull at the White House Fire Department on Thursday, Dr. David Brooks, bleeding from his mouth, kept on working, treating two other dogs before being convinced he needed medical attention.
Brooks, of Pembroke Animal Hospital, said the dog was “cowering and looked scared” before it lunged at him Thursday during a discount rabies vaccination clinic organized by the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association.
“It looked pretty ugly; you could see clear into my mouth,” Brooks said of his injuries. “I was real concerned, but I still wanted to make sure I got those other dogs done before I left.”
Brooks was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where he underwent facial surgery and was released Friday.
“It’s looking much better now,” he said.
The pit bull was euthanized and tested for rabies, which required that its brain be examined. The animal was not rabid.
“Had it tested positive, I’d be in isolation unit right now receiving lots and lots of treatment,” he said this morning.
Brooks said that getting bitten is common in his line of work, and that he does not intend to press charges against the dog’s owner.
“If you ask a carpenter if he ever accidentally hit his hand with his hammer, and he says ‘no,’ then he’s probably not a carpenter,” Brooks said jokingly. “I’ve never have anything of this magnitude happen, but it could have been really bad if the dog had hung on to me. Instead, he just snapped and released.”
Brooks this morning did not know the number of animals that were vaccinated during the weeklong clinic, but said that the turnout was lower than he and other members of the association had anticipated. Brooks said he was hoping that more pet owners would take part in the association’s biannual SNIP program, which begins today. During the program, cats and dogs are spayed and neutered for a discounted price.
“We’re hoping that people take advantage of it, we want to get these unwanted pets off the street,” Brooks said. “We’re offering these services at a tremendous discount and trying to help the community.”
The cost of the procedure includes anesthesia and surgery. Costs are as follows: female cats, $75; male cats, $60; female dogs less than 40 pounds, $85; female dogs more than 40 pounds, $100; male dogs less than 40 pounds, $80; and male dogs more than 40 pounds, $95. The procedure normally costs as much as $150, depending on the size and breed of the animal.