LUMBERTON — A pit bull that attacked a local veterinarian during a rabies clinic Thursday has been euthanized so that it can be determined if the animal suffered with rabies.
According to Bill Smith, the director of the Robeson County Health Department, the head of the dog that bit Dr. David E. Brooks on the face was sent to a lab in Raleigh. The animal’s brain must be tested to see if it was rabid.
Brooks, who owns of the Pembroke Veterinary Hospital, was administering a rabies vaccine to the dog at White House Fire Department when the dog lunged at him. Brooks was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and underwent surgery.
“Dr. Brooks is doing great. He came out of surgery this morning and is on his way home now as I post this,” a message on the Pembroke Veterinary Hospital’s Facebook page said at about noon on Friday.
According to Randall Graham, a spokesman for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, the black and white pit bull was one of nine dogs found at a home on Marietta Road on Thursday.
Graham said Catherine Floyd, an animal cruelty investigator, went to the home after being alerted that animals there had not been vaccinated against rabies. Graham said the dogs were in good condition and that their owner, Tony Law, took the dogs to the clinic to be vaccinated.
“Dr. Brooks went to the vehicle to vaccinate the dogs due to the owner stating that the dogs did not get along with other animals,” Graham said in an emailed statement.
Brooks was participating in a outreach program by the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association during which the six veterinary hospitals in the county send staff to the county’s 32 fire department to provide the shots at the discounted price of $5. The outreach program ended on Friday.
Beginning Tuesday, the association will begin its biannual SNIP program during which cats and dogs are spayed and neutered for a discounted price. That program is expected to go on as scheduled.
Brooks is an aggressive advocate for animals, often providing The Robesonian with information on such initiatives. He appeared before the county Board of Commissioners earlier this month to inform commissioners of the rabies and SNIP programs, and the commissioners agreed to contribute $3 toward the cost of each rabies vaccination.