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Caroline woman wants to know if dog that attacked her had rabies shot

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CAROLINE, Va. – Karen Cauthorne has been walking around her Ruther Glen neighborhood for 35 years.

Last week, she was attacked by a dog.

“He stood there and growled at me,” Cauthorne said. “Then he walked around to the front of me. I swatted my arm to shoo him away and he jumped on my arm.”

She said she got away and made it safely to her home, but she’s still worried.

That’s because she knows there are several children who live and play nearby. She said the school bus stop isn’t far from the cul de sac where she was attacked.

Cauthorne says she waited a week for Caroline County Animal Control to address the issue with the dog’s owner, but it never happened.

She said the dog’s home is about six houses down from where she lives.

The County Health Department got involved because the dog drew blood when he attacked her.

Cauthorne said they advised her to contact her doctor about getting rabies shots.

That was something she hoped to avoid. She said that’s why she was counting on county leaders getting in touch with the dog owner.

Cauthorne said she grew frustrated when the health department asked her to find out the dog owner’s name.

She left a note, but didn’t find out the person’s name. That’s when Cauthorne said she was advised that they would close her case on Wednesday before workers there left for the Thanksgiving holiday.

She said she was told they would mark the case “dog not captured”.

A CBS 6 reporter contacted the environmental health manager at the Health Department about Cauthorne’s case.

Brent McCord told us that Cauthorne’s case isn't closed, despite what Cauthorne said she was told.

McCord said they were still trying to find the owner of the dog to verify which dog initiated the attack.

Shortly after our phone conversation with McCord, we went to Cauthorne’s home.

She told us that McCord had just left their neighborhood, but not before leaving a note on the dog owners door.

“He put a containment notice on their door and said he would keep in contact with me. That’s all I wanted him to do at first,” Cauthorne added.

The dog owner was not home when we stopped by.
We also tried to reach out to the Caroline County Animal Control. A sign on the gate said the office was closed for the holiday.

In the meantime, Cauthorne says she is going to contact her doctor to see if rabies shots are necessary.