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Free roaming dogs bite Portola woman

One Portola woman is anxious for her life to return to normal after being bitten by a dog at large.

Following the advice of Plumas County Chief Health Officer Dr. Mark Satterfield, Sugie Barker immediately began the series of four rabies vaccinations in Reno. She also stopped walking for pleasure and doing errands in the community.

The dog was one of three allowed to run free in the northern part of Portola on Feb. 28, Barker explained March 5.

Out for a walk in her own neighborhood, Barker said she saw the three dogs — two brown ones and the golden lab — playing in the park.

When the dogs noticed her they began circling her, while the golden lab came up behind her and bit her on the little finger of her right hand. She added that she didn’t have a walking stick along and couldn’t defend herself. “I just stood still,” she said when the dogs approached and began barking at her. “I didn’t provoke it.”

While concerned for herself and in a sort of shock over what had just happened, Barker said that she was also concerned because there were a number of children in the nearby park. Although they were with their parents, Barker said they would have been right at face-level with the dogs.

Barker said that she immediately went to the emergency room at Eastern Plumas Health Care for treatment. They were able to give her a tetanus shot, but she learned there wasn’t any rabies vaccine in the county.

She also learned that she would have to go to Truckee or Reno to receive rabies vaccinations. She chose the ER in Reno. Any visit to an ER generally means time. She went there before noon and didn’t get back home until midnight.

Besides the first of the series of vaccinations that Satterfield recommended, Barker said she received a gamma globulin shot that is administered right into the bite. Barker said that was very painful, but necessary to help combat any contaminants from the dog’s saliva.

Once back home in Portola, Barker said she and her husband John saw the dogs out again. This time they followed them to their house. She then turned in the information at the substation for contact with the code compliance officer Kevin Sankey.

She knows that one dog is being quarantined at the owners’ home and one of them went to the Plumas County Animal Shelter in Quincy. She didn’t say what became of the third dog.

What also concerns Barker, who has lived in Portola since 1978, is that the golden lab bit another woman before it bit her. Barker thought that bite occurred about four weeks before her incident. That woman was bitten on the rump.

While the dog owners might have learned their lesson about confining their dogs, others are not listening.

Checking out the official crime reports as cataloged by the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, a number of complaints of dogs being allowed to roam the streets come in throughout the county. However the problem does seem to be worse in Portola.

Plumas County Animal Control Officer Alec Saez said that the city of Portola has its own animal control service. Portola code enforcement officer Kevin Sankey operates this. He was asked to respond to the questions concerning the incident with Barker, but hadn’t responded by the time this article went to press.

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